A night-nurse in a psychiatric ward is on duty at the bedside of a sleeping mother who has confessed to the criminal murder of her own child. The nurse finds herself strangely drawn to the silent patient, with whom no word is ever exchanged. But thoughts about the patient’s deeds trigger a series of disturbing memories, and as the nurse’s past gradually unfolds throughout the night-long vigil, her own troubled story merges with that of the patient. Slowly the chilling nature of the affinity begins to dawn.
Lindroth creates a poetic work that is as unflinchingly realistic as it is wryly humorous, and by interweaving scenes from Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of The Little Mermaid, she brilliantly links up familiar events of the present day with the darkness and light of childhood, which leads in turn to the timeless realm of fairytale.
Published in Swedish as Vaka Natt in 1999, where it has already won several prizes, including the prestigious AFTONBLADET AWARD, Night Watch has been published to great acclaim in Germany.
Translated by Laurie Thompson.
About the Author
MALIN LINDROTH was born in l965 and lives on the Swedish West Coast. She has published several collections of poetry and short stories. Night Watch, her first novel, was published to great critical acclaim. She also works as a playwright.