Writing at the height of his powers, John Hersey has created a taut, dazzling novel of suspense and revelation—in which we watch, mesmerized, the fateful convergence of two lives. A young woman, having fled from her suddenly unbearable “college kid” self—and from the place, even the lover, that were part of it—comes alone to a strange city, anxiously waiting for something new and important to begin…. A man—breezy, ponytailed, beautiful—stranded by the passing of the sixties whose excitements had nurtured and consumed him, now lavishes his whole self on loving craftsmanship, on the construction of simple, perfect wooden doors, on the mystery of locks, and on the artful offering of security (his locks and doors) to women who are alone…. The meeting of these two, and their love affair—its choreography masterminded by one, unsuspected by the other—are hypnotically told in a novel that illumines the fearful and the fear-makers in our decade.
John Hersey was born in Tientsin, China, in 1914 and lived there until 1925, when his family returned to the United States. He studied at Yale and Cambridge, served for a time as Sinclair Lewis’s secretary, and then worked several… More about John Hersey