Russell Banks: Lost Memory Of Skin

Lost Memory Of Skin book - Rik Rawling cover

What you believe matters, however. It’s all anyone has to act on. And since what you do is who you are, your actions define you. If you don’t believe anything is true simply because you can’t logically prove what’s true, you won’t do anything. You won’t be anything. You’ll end up spending your life in a rocking chair looking out at the horizon waiting for an answer that never comes. You might as well be dead. It’s an old philosophical problem.
Russell Banks, Lost Memory Of Skin

This is my 2010 drawing of an iguana, used for a mock-up cover for Russell Banks’ 2013 novel inspired by true stories of sex offenders in the USA who, after release from prison, are severely restricted in terms of what they can do with their lives and have started creating their own off-the-grid ghettos under overpasses and in subway tunnels. No-one can accuse Banks of shying away from difficult subjects, and this is one of his best, where he depicts a contemporary USA that seems post-apocalyptic, at least in moral and psychological terms. Alright, so what does an iguana have to do with all of this? The protagonist has a pet iguana that accompanies him on his strange odyssey…


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