The Man Without a Shadow

Front Cover
HarperCollins Publishers Limited, 2017 - Amnesia - 384 pages
5 Reviews

From bestselling author Joyce Carol Oates, a taut and fascinating novel that examines the mysteries of human memory and personality

In 1965, a young research scientist named Margot Sharpe meets Elihu Hoopes, the subject of her study, a handsome amnesiac who cannot remember anything beyond the last seventy seconds. Over the course of thirty years, the two embark on mirroring journeys of self-discovery. Margot, enthralled by her charming, mysterious, and deeply lonely patient, as well as her officious supervisor, attempts to unlock Eli's shuttered memories of a childhood trauma without losing her own sense of identity in the process. And Eli, haunted by memories of an unknown girl's body underneath the surface of a lake, pushes to finally know himself once again, despite potentially devastating consequences. As Margot and Eli meet over and over again, Joyce Carol Oates' tightly written, nearly clinical prose propels the lives of these two characters forwards, both suspended in a dream-like, shadowy present, and seemingly balanced on the thinnest, sharpest of lines between past and future. Made vivid by Oates' eye for detail and searing insight into the human psyche, The Man Without a Shadow is an eerie, ambitious, and structurally complex novel, as poignant as it is thrilling.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ozzer - LibraryThing

This novel explores the inherent differences between patients and subjects. In medicine, clinicians do their utmost to cure or improve their patient’s disease. More often than not, solid information ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lostinalibrary - LibraryThing

Margot Sharpe is a young graduate student studying memory under the guidance of noted neuroscientist Milton Ferris. She is working with Elihu Hoopes who developed encephalitis at the age of 37 and, as ... Read full review

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About the author (2017)

Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Medal of Humanities, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including We Were the Mulvaneys; Blonde, which was nominated for the National Book Award; and the New York Times bestseller The Accursed. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978.

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