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The Night Watchman

On sale

4th March 2021

Price: £9.99

Pulitzer Price for Fiction, 2021

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Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781472155368

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It is 1953. Thomas Wazhushk is the night watchman at the first factory to open near the Turtle Mountain Reservation in rural North Dakota. He is also a prominent Chippewa Council member, trying to understand a new bill that is soon to be put before Congress. The US Government calls it an ’emancipation’ bill; but it isn’t about freedom – it threatens the rights of Native Americans to their land, their very identity. How can he fight this betrayal?

Unlike most of the girls on the reservation, Pixie – ‘Patrice’ – Paranteau has no desire to wear herself down on a husband and kids. She works at the factory, earning barely enough to support her mother and brother, let alone her alcoholic father who sometimes returns home to bully her for money. But Patrice needs every penny to get if she’s ever going to get to Minnesota to find her missing sister Vera.

In The Night Watchman multi-award winning author Louise Erdrich weaves together a story of past and future generations, of preservation and progress. She grapples with the worst and best impulses of human nature, illuminating the loves and lives, desires and ambitions of her characters with compassion, wit and intelligence.


The Spectator
This book feels particularly special, taking those elements that we expect from Erdrich - beautiful prose, exquisite depiction of the natural world, powerful emotion - and building them into something exceptional. If you haven't read her before, The Night Watchman is a superb introduction to the work of one of America's most important living novelists.
The Times
A moving account of people trying to cling on to their identity in a hostile world.
Times of Tunbridge Wells
'A beautifully characterised and atmospheric book about relationships, family and striving for what you believe in'
New York Times
Erdrich [offers] the reader the gifts of love and richness that only a deeply connected writer can provide. You never doubt these are her people . . . For 450 pages, we are grateful to be allowed into this world . . . I walked away from the Turtle Mountain clan feeling deeply moved, missing these characters as if they were real people known to me. In this era of modern termination assailing us, the book feels like a call to arms. A call to humanity.
Ann Patchett, Evening Standard: 'The best books of 2020'
Louise Erdrich is my favourite writer and her latest, The Night Watchman, is my favourite Erdrich novel, so how could this not be a cause for celebration? . . . No one is better than Erdrich at creating an entire world and all the people who live there, past, present and future.
Erdrich describes the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota in rich detail and illustrates the lengths that some will go to protect the ones they care for.
Mail on Sunday, 'Best New Fiction'
Erdrich's restless eye captures movements and years of the North Dakota reservation's hardscrabble life and rich traditions . . . A beguiling storyteller
Booklist starred review
A work of distinct luminosity . . . Erdrich traces the indelible traumas of racism and sexual violence and celebrates the vitality and depth of Chippewa life . . . Bestselling and much-honored Erdrich is at her radiant best in this dramatic tale
Publishers Weekly
Erdrich's inspired portrait of her own tribe's resilient heritage masterfully encompasses an array of characters and historical events. Erdrich remains an essential voice.
Kirkus Starred Review
A knowing, loving evocation of people trying to survive with their personalities and traditions intact.
the Guardian
Erdrich is one of the greatest living American writers, 'Books to Read in 2020'
Erdrich orchestrates a rich community tale
Daily Mail
[The Night Watchman is] Erdrich´s stunning new novel . . . Thomas Washushk, the character who lovingly hops off the page, is based on Erdrich´s own grandfather . . . Erdrich weaves the stories of other beautifully crafted characters against the backdrop of an impoverished reservation . . . The connection between Erdrich´s characters and the natural world is unbreakable, and some of her most evocative passages are dedicated to this relationship . . . Erdrich has chosen a story that is near to her heart, and it shines through on every page.