Night Watch: A novel

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Night Watch: A novel

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LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD IN FICTION • A NEW YORKER BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR • From one of our most accomplished novelists, a mesmerizing story about a mother and daughter seeking refuge in the chaotic aftermath of the Civil War—and a brilliant portrait of family endurance against all odds

"A tour de force." —Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage


In 1874, in the wake of the War, erasure, trauma, and namelessness haunt civilians and veterans, renegades and wanderers, freedmen and runaways. Twelve-year-old ConaLee, the adult in her family for as long as she can remember, finds herself on a buckboard journey with her mother, Eliza, who hasn’t spoken in more than a year. They arrive at the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in West Virginia, delivered to the hospital’s entrance by a war veteran who has forced himself into their world. There, far from family, a beloved neighbor, and the mountain home they knew, they try to reclaim their lives.

The omnipresent vagaries of war and race rise to the surface as we learn their story: their flight to the highest mountain ridges of western Virginia; the disappearance of ConaLee’s father, who left for the War and never returned. Meanwhile, in the asylum, they begin to find a new path. ConaLee pretends to be her mother’s maid; Eliza responds slowly to treatment. They get swept up in the life of the facility—the mysterious man they call the Night Watch; the orphan child called Weed; the fearsome woman who runs the kitchen; the remarkable doctor at the head of the institution.

Epic, enthralling, and meticulously crafted, Night Watch is a stunning chronicle of surviving war and its aftermath.

JAYNE ANNE PHILLIPS is the author of Black Tickets, Machine Dreams, Fast Lanes, Shelter, MotherKind, Lark and Termite, and Quiet Dell. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Bunting Fellowship, and two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. Winner of an Arts and Letters Award and the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she was inducted into the Academy in 2018.  A National Book Award finalist, and twice a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, she lives in New York and Boston.

ISBN: 9780451493330

ISBN-10: 9780451493330

Publisher: Knopf

Publication Date: 09/19/2023 - 12:00am

On Sale: 09/19/2023 - 12:00am

Pages: 304

Language: English

Categories

Fiction / Literary

Fiction / Medical

Fiction / Historical / Civil War Era