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  • Virago

The Narrows

Ann Petry

3 Reviews

Rated 0

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Classic fiction (pre c 1945)

This 1953 novel is not only a noiresque literary page-turner, but a blistering critique on race and class.

BY THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE STREET

'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' TAYARI JONES

'Her work endures not only because it illuminates reality, but because it harnesses the power of fiction to supplant it' Parul Sehgal, New York Times

Link Williams is a handsome, brilliant Dartmouth graduate whose promise is unfulfilled; because of the lack of opportunities for a young Black man, he tends bar in his New England town. The routine of his life is interrupted when he intervenes to save a woman from a late-night attack. The thick fog rolls in from the river, so it is only when they enter a bar for a drink that Camillo sees her rescuer is black. Camilo is a wealthy, married heiress, who has crossed the town's racial divide to relieve the tedium of her life. Brought together by chance, Link and Camilo draw each other into furtive encounters that violate the rigid and uncompromising social codes of their times.

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Praise for The Narrows

  • 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 . . . The Narrows is the story of a doomed interracial romance that proves that passion and prejudice are not mutually exclusive - New York Times

  • Petry will always feel on time. Her kind of talent will always feel startling and sui generis: The music of her sentences, and their discipline; her unerring sense of psychology; the fullness with which she endows each character, which must be understood as a kind of love; the plots that commandeer whole hours and days. . . . Her work endures not only because it illuminates reality, but because it harnesses the power of fiction to supplant it - New York Times

  • Ann Petry's novels The Street and The Narrows are masterpieces of social realism ... her writing transcends comparisons. It's volatile but exacting, heartbreaking but often brutally funny. Labels don't stick to it - Wall Street Journal

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