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.
About the Author
Irini Spanidou is the author of the novels God's Snake and Fear. She has taught at New York University, Brooklyn College, Sarah Lawrence College, Bennington College, State University of New York at Purchase, Cooper Union, Parson's School of Design, and the Poetry Center at the 92nd Street Y. She is the recipient of a New York State Foundation for the Arts grant and a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship. She lives in New York City.
Praise for Before…
“Spare yet penetrating. . . . Before presents a haunting three-month snapshot of a 20-something teetering recklessly on the edge of ruin.” —The Washington Post“Spanidou possesses a poet's gift for language and an ability to capture a sense of time and place with strobe-lit images.”—The New York Times"Powerful. . . . Before is a short book, yet it ends up seeming much larger, even as it remains bracingly compact, tightly coiled."—San Francisco Chronicle “Shimmering, hypnotic. . . . [Spanidou's] sentences have just the right measure of elegant lassitude, of quiet, humming sexiness, and of a singular devotion to seeing things deeply, no matter what the cost.”—O, The Oprah Magazine