Nicole Krauss' debut novel, 'Man Walks Into A Room', is a luminous work of fiction. It is the story of Samson Greene, a professor of English at Columbia University found wandering the Nevada desert with a cherry-sized tumour in his brain. Doctors are able to successfully remove it, but he is left with an obliterated memory; 24 years, the latter two-thirds of his life, is effectively redacted. His wife, Anna, brings him back to New York, but Samson is unable to reconcile his former life and the situation in which he finds himself. He flees the daily pressures of the unknown past for the empty canvas of the western desert and the pull of a charismatic doctor who is pushing the limits of experimental neurological research.
An accomplished poet, Nicole's impressive talent in that other literary form is manifests itself in the graceful, crystalline sentences of her fiction. Though only her first novel, it is the work of an assured writer in full command of her craft. In Samson, she has crafted an engaging character enduring a fascinating existential dilemma.