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Jayne Anne Phillips was born in Buckhannon, West Virginia. She is the author of four novels, Lark and Termite (2008), MotherKind (2000), Shelter (1994) and Machine Dreams (1984 ) , and two collections of widely anthologized stories, Fast Lanes (1987) and Black Tickets (1979) . She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and a Bunting Fellowship. She has been awarded the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction (1980) and an Academy Award in Literature (1997) by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her work has been translated into twelve languages, and has appeared in Granta, Harper''s, DoubleTake, and The Norton Anthology of Contemporary Fiction . She is currently Professor of English and Director of the MFA Program at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey.>
A new offering from award-winning author Jayne Anne Phillips, set during the American Civil War and seen through the eyes of ConaLee, a teenage girl in the divided state of Virginia, whose father is away fighting for the Union.
'Breathtaking in both its scope and intensity' TAYARI JONES
'Shatteringly particular and audaciously universal' ALICE RANDALL
'Gorgeous prose, attention to detail and masterful characters. Haunting storytelling and a refreshing look at history' KIRKUS, STARRED REVIEW
From one of our most accomplished novelists, a mesmerizing story about a mother and daughter seeking refuge in a mental asylum in the chaotic aftermath of the Civil War.
In 1874, in the wake of the war, trauma haunts civilians and veterans, renegades and wanderers, freedmen and runaways. Twelve-year-old ConaLee and her mother, Eliza, who hasn't spoken in more than a year, 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 lives. There, far from family, a beloved neighbour, and the mountain home they knew, they try to reclaim their lives.
The twin horrors of war and race rise to the surface as we learn their history: 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 mystery behind the man they call the Night Watch; the 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 brilliant portrait of family endurance against all odds and a stunning chronicle of surviving war and its aftermath.