cover of book

Intimacy: A Novel
by Stanley Crawford
University of Alabama Press, 2016
Paper: 978-1-57366-054-9 | eISBN: 978-1-57366-859-0
Library of Congress Classification PS3553.R295I58 2016
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.54

Intimacy is the story of an unnamed narrator ruminating on suicide. He reflects on the origins and significance of his material possessions, and on the seemingly inconsequential moments in his life, while he prepares to carry out his plans.

In this melancholy novel about a man on the brink of suicide, Stanley Crawford allows readers to question what it really means to be close to a person. Intimacy follows an unnamed narrator planning his own death. His preparations become a trigger and occasion for him to revisit key moments in his life and his material possessions, which are the solid artifacts from his life’s journey.
As sparrows in flight might form a single arrow, the life of the narrator comes into focus as a collage of fleeting events and images. Readers gain insights into tiny moments that slowly build into a picture of a man who seems to have very little, aside from material possessions, to lose.
The narrative pulls the reader along a trail of digressions—about running shoes, about the symbolism of rings—that lead down a proverbial rabbit hole until we realize the narrator’s intentions. Despite our lack of concrete knowledge about the narrator’s life, he allows us to share his thought processes: how every thought leads to the next, how memories seep upward when he picks up a particular T-shirt, or when he glimpses his car keys. And alongside our growing understanding of the narrator comes a recognition of our own thought processes: how we, like him, relate to our bodies; how we, too, cannot break away from the constant motion of our thoughts.
Intimacy is a brief, intense novel charged with the heightened sense of closeness that comes from watching a man’s last hours. It illuminates how brief snapshots of memory can trace the outline of an entire life.

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