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Lost Memory of Skin review - Russell Banks

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GETTING UNDER THE 'SKIN' Banks succeeds with his portrayal of a sex offender but bloats the book with descriptions of an overweight professor

Lost Memory of Skin

Current Status:
In Season
Russell Banks
Ecco Press

We gave it a B-

Lost Memory of Skin, from the author of The Sweet Hereafter, details the platonic relationship between a sex offender and the overweight professor who befriends him. The fact that the former is referred to as ”the Kid” and the latter ”the Professor” seems to be part of Banks’ attempt to remind us that people cannot be reduced to blunt descriptors. Certainly the iguana-keeping Kid is a rich and fascinating character. The Professor is a less credible creation, and his outsize physique at times finds an echo in the dense prose of this 400-plus-page work. B-