Synopses & Reviews
“Like our living literary giants Toni Morrison and Thomas Pynchon, Russell Banks is a great writer wrestling with the hidden secrets and explosive realities of this country.”
“Of the many writers working in the great tradition today, one of the best is Russell Banks.”
—New York Times
Lost Memory of Skin is a provocative novel of spiritual and moral redemption from Russell Banks, the author of Affliction, Rule of the Bone, Continental Drift, Cloudsplitter, and other acclaimed masterworks of contemporary American fiction. Uncompromising and complex, Lost Memory of Skin is the story of The Kid, a young sex offender recently released from prison and forced to live beneath a South Florida causeway. When The Professor, a man of enormous intellect and appetite, takes The Kid under his wing, his own startling past will cause upheavals in both of their worlds. At once lyrical, witty, and disturbing, Bankss extraordinary novel showcases his abilities as a world-class storyteller as well as his incisive understanding of the dangerous contradictions and hypocrisies of modern American society.
After doing time for a liaison with an underage girl, the Kid is forbidden to live within 2,500 feet of anywhere children might gather. Barely beyond childhood himself, the Kid is in many ways an innocent, trapped by impulses and choices he struggles to comprehend. Enter the Professor, a man who has built his own life on secrets and lies. The two men forge a tentative partnership, but when the Professor's past resurfaces, the balance in the two men's relationship shifts. Suddenly, the Kid must reconsider all he has come to believe, and make a fateful choice when faced with a new kind of moral decision.
A mature and masterful work of contemporary fiction from one of our most accomplished storytellers, Lost Memory of Skin explores the zeitgeist of a troubled society where zero tolerance has erased any hope of subtlety and compassion—a society where isolating the offender has perhaps created a new kind of victim.
About the Author
Russell Banks is one of America's most prestigious fiction writers, a past president of the International Parliament of Writers, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has been translated into twenty languages and has received numerous prizes and awards, including the Common Wealth Award for Literature. He lives in upstate New York and Miami, Florida.