In Russell Banks’ brilliant and difficult new novel, Lost Memory of Skin, we are introduced to “the Kid,” a young man who is trying to create a life for himself after having been incarcerated his liaison with an underage girl. On probation now, he is shackled to a GPS and forbidden to live within 2,500 feet of anywhere children might gather. With nowhere else to go, he joins a makeshift encampment with other convicted sex offenders. Banks’ narrative eases us in slowly and deftly, and the characters become human and real. Banks shows again that he is one of the most gifted writers of our times.