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Read online or Download Before, During, After (Full PDF ebook with essay, research paper)
by Richard Bausch

Product Details

Vintage Contemporaries Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.60(d)



From the recipient of the PEN/Malamud Award, the Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Rea Award for the Short Story: a gorgeously rendered, passionate account of a relationship threatened by secrets, set against the backdrop of national tragedy.

When Natasha, a talented young artist working as a congressional aide, meets Michael Faulk, an Episcopalian priest struggling with his faith, the stars seem to align. Although he is nearly two decades older, they discover in each other the happy yearning and exhilaration of lovers, and within months they are engaged. Shortly before their wedding, while Natasha is vacationing in Jamaica and Faulk is in New York attending the wedding of a family friend, the terrorist attacks of September 11 shatter the tranquillity of the nation’s summer. Alone in a state of abject terror, cut off from America and convinced that Faulk is dead, Natasha makes an error in judgment that leads to a private trauma of her own on the Caribbean shore. A few days later, she and Faulk are reunited, but the horror of that day and Natasha’s inability to speak of it inexorably divide their relationship into “before” and “after.” They move to Memphis and begin their new life together, but their marriage quickly descends into repression, anxiety, and suspicion.

In prose that is direct, exact, and lyrical, Richard Bausch plumbs the complexities of public and personal trauma, and the courage with which we learn to face them. Above all, Before, During, After is a love story, offering a penetrating and exquisite portrait of intimacy, of spiritual and physical longing, and of the secrets we convince ourselves to keep even as they threaten to destroy us. An unforgettable tour de force from one of America’s most distinguished storytellers.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Kathryn Harrison
…an elegantly constructed novel in which the catastrophic destruction of two monumental structures provides the backdrop to the fracture and crumbling of smaller couples…One of Richard Bausch's many talents is the forthright ease with which he delivers his characters—and readers—to the gravest questions of love, faith and ultimately God, even as he nimbly hides the answers in plain sight.

Related Subjects

  • ">21st Century American Fiction
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  • ">Terrorism - Fiction

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