When Natasha, a lonely congressional aide in D.C., meets Michael Faulk, an Episcopalian priest struggling with his faith, the stars seem to align. The blossoming of their love, over the spring and summer of 2001, is intellectually gratifying and intensely passionate. A month before their wedding, Natasha is vacationing in Jamaica and Faulk is in New York when the terrorist attacks of September 11 shatter the innocence of the nation. Alone in a state of abject terror and convinced that Faulk is dead, Natasha endures a private trauma of her own: she is raped by a young man on the shores of the Caribbean. A few days later, she and Faulk are reunited, but the horror of that day, and Natasha's inability to speak of it, irrevocably create a schism in their relationship, between 'before' and 'after'.
In beautifully wrought, deeply unsettling prose, Bausch plumbs the complexities of trauma and how we respond to it, in public and in private. Before, During, and After is an exquisite and excruciating dissection of intimacy, of the secrets we must keep even as they destroy us. An unforgettable tour de force from one of America's most distinguished and commanding storytellers.