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The Narrows: A Novel by Ann Petry
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The Narrows: A Novel by Ann Petry


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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.