Pitch Dark (Paperback)

By Renata Adler

Melville House, 9781612190662, 144pp.

Publication Date: February 1, 2012

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (3/19/2013)

List Price: 14.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


One of the most acclaimed novels of the late 20th century is back.

Pitch Dark
is the story of the end of a love affair—a story that, in Renata Adler’s brilliant telling, becomes a richly diffracted, illuminating, investigation of an exceptional woman. After a nine-year affair with Jake, a married man, Kate Ennis decides to escape. She takes off, looking for something beautiful and quiet by the sea, but finds herself in a pitch dark and driving rain on a lonely Irish road. It is only months later that she learns that she may have committed a crime, but by then she is home, once more negotiating with Jake for time, for attention, and for love.

About the Author

Renata Adler was, for nearly 40 years, one of the "New Yorker"'s most well-known--not to mention controversial--writers. Reporting on ranging issues, from the Selma riots to Vietnam, the Biafran wars and American culture in general, she was one of the era's most important journalists. She was also acclaimed for several seminal books of reportage, including "Reckless Disregard" and "A Year in the Dark," a collection of her film criticism written for the "New York Times."

But Adler's fiction writing made an equally big splash. Her very first story publication, "Brownstone," won the O. Henry Award as best story of the year; and then as one of the O. Henry Prize's best stories of the decade. Her first novel, "Speedboat," was a bestseller and won the Ernest Hemingway Award for Best First Novel of the year. Her second novel, "Pitch Dark," an even bigger bestseller, also achieved widespread acclaim, prompting "New York Times Book Review" editor John Leonard to say in a review, "Nobody writes better prose than Renata Adler."

Praise For Pitch Dark

“Intense. . . brilliant. . . A mood, dark and sinister, grows steadily and a tight kind of suspense is created. . . For those who would like to know where fiction is headed, it’s somewhere in this aggressive, provocative direction.”

“Two things hold Pitch Dark together and give it speed and magic. The first is Miss Adler’s gift for language and observation. . . and the second is her willingness to write candidly, even rawly, about emotions.”
—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“Nobody in this country writes better prose than Renata Adler's.”
—John Leonard, Harper's