The Shadow Knows
Why this book?
A first-person novel published in 1974, this wry, low-key thriller, quietly shattering, slaloms through marriage and infidelity, prosperity and poverty, motherhood and neglect. I first came across The Shadow Knows shortly after it was published, turned the pages at speed, and in my head argued furiously with the protagonist all the way through. Re-reading it forty years later, I was still aghast, and just as mesmerized. I think it’s safe to say the narrator’s response to sexual violence—like much else in this book—would be impossible to publish in the present; it is as revelatory about our moment as about the one in which it was written and set.