What Happens at Night (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Cameron is an unparalleled master of prose, and we are lucky to have him. WHAT HAPPENS AT NIGHT is bizarre, dangerous, elegant. It feels as if you're dreaming it rather than reading it - the experience is not one of a good dream, or a nightmare, but rather a strange and unsettling dream. — From Amy's Picks (page 2)


A couple find themselves at a fading, grand European hotel full of eccentric and sometimes unsettling patrons in this faultlessly elegant and quietly menacing allegorical story that examines the significance of shifting desires and the uncertainty of reality (Garth Greenwell, author of Cleanness).

An American couple travel to a strange, snowy European city to adopt a baby, who they hope will resurrect their failing marriage. This difficult journey leaves the wife, who is struggling with cancer, desperately weak, and her husband worries that her apparent illness will prevent the orphanage from releasing their child.

The couple check into the cavernous and eerily deserted Borgarfjaroasysla Grand Imperial Hotel where the bar is always open and the restaurant serves thirteen-course dinners from centuries past. Their attempt to claim their baby is both helped and hampered by the people they encounter: an ancient, flamboyant chanteuse, a debauched businessman, an enigmatic faith healer, and a stoic bartender who dispenses an addictive, lichen-flavored schnapps. Nothing is as it seems in this mysterious, frozen world, and the longer the couple endure the punishing cold the less they seem to know about their marriage, themselves, and life itself.

What Happens at Night is a masterpiece (Edmund White) poised on the cusp of reality, told by an elegantly acute and mysteriously beguiling writer (Richard Eder, The Boston Globe).

About the Author

Peter Cameron is the author of eight novels and three collections of stories. His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Rolling Stone, and many other literary journals. He lives in New York City and Sandgate, Vermont.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781948226967
ISBN-10: 1948226960
Publisher: Catapult
Publication Date: August 4th, 2020
Pages: 320
Language: English