“Petry is the writer we have been waiting for; hers are the stories we need to fully illuminate the questions of our moment, while also offering a page-turning good time. Ann Petry, the woman, had it all, and so does her insightful, prescient and unputdownable prose.” — Tayari Jones, New York Times Book Review
From author of the bestselling novel The Street, a “masterpiece of social realism” (Wall Street Journal) about a tragic love affair, and a powerful look into how class, race, and love intersected in midcentury America.
With a new introduction by Kaitlyn Greenidge, author of Libertie.
“The Narrows deftly explores what it means to have an interior life under the unrelenting gaze of whiteness...it is a master class in using descriptions of place and space to explore the realities of race, gender, class and psychology.”—Kaitlyn Greenidge, from her introduction
It’s Saturday, past midnight, and thick fog rolls in from the river like smoke. Link Williams is standing on the dock when he hears quick footsteps approaching, and the gasp of a woman too terrified to scream. After chasing off her pursuer, he takes the woman to a nearby bar to calm her nerves, and as they enter, it’s as if the oxygen has left the room: they, and the other patrons, see in the dim light that he’s Black and she’s white.
Link is a brilliant Dartmouth graduate, former athlete and soldier who, because of the lack of opportunities available to him, tends bar; Camilo is a wealthy married woman dissatisfied with and bored of her life of privilege. Thrown together by a chance encounter, both Link and Camilo secretly cross the town’s racial divide, defying the social prejudices of their times.
In this stunning and heartbreaking story, Petry illuminates the harsh realities of race and class through two doomed lovers. This profound, necessary novel stakes Petry’s place as an indelible writer of American literature.