From the author of God's Snake , and Fear comes a stunning novel that shines light on what it means to be beautiful, and to be possessed—by oneself, and by others.
The setting is 1970s New York City, a time and place of creativity, sexual freedom, and unforeseen dangers. At its center is Beatrice, who is twenty-five, mesmerizingly lovely, intelligent, and married to Ned, a volatile painter whose obsession with her has turned to hatred. Beatrice is desired by everyone around her: by Faye, her seductive, bawdy childhood friend; by Cyril, a lonely, charismatic Vietnam veteran; by Chris, a young heroin addict. And then there is Perkins, the oddly threatening man next door.
An intoxicating mix of desire, longing, and menace, Before captures a dizzying time in America.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Before|
|Release Date: 11-26-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group|
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The eight-story building where Beatrice and Ned James lived had only two other tenants. One lived on the floor below. The other, a man named Perkins, lived on the same floor but had been in prison since before they moved in and they had never seen him. That morning, as Beatrice came out of her loft, he was standing at the opposite end of the hall, locking his door. His back was turned to her and he could not see or hear her through the loud music coming from downstairs, yet his body perceptibly stiffened.
Beatrice waited for him to turn around so she could introduce herself but when he did, no word would come out of her mouth. His eyes stayed on her with intimate persistence, and he too said nothing. In a moment, he tossed his keys up in the air, caught them in his fist, put them in his pocket—each movement deliberately slow—then he pulled the watch cap he was wearing lower down his forehead. Though he was standing close to the stairs, he waited for her to go down first then follo...