Imatge de l'autor

Jayne Anne Phillips

Autor/a de Lark and Termite

21+ obres 2,827 Membres 93 Ressenyes 3 preferits

Sobre l'autor

Jayne Anne Phillips lives in Massachusetts. (Publisher Provided) Jayne Anne Phillips was born on July 19, 1952 in Buckhannon, West Virginia. She graduated from West Virginia University (1974) and earned her M. F. A. at the University of Iowa (1978). She has taught at the University of Iowa, Humbolt mostra'n més State University, Radcliffe College, Boston University and Harvard. She was named writer-in-residence at Brandeis University in 1996. Her works, including two short story collections and several novels, have been translated into 14 languages. One novel, Machine Dreams, was nominated for the Nation Book Critics Award. She has also received the Sue Kaufman Award from the America Adademy and Institute of Arts and Letters. (Bowker Author Biography) mostra'n menys
Crèdit de la imatge: www.jayneannephillips.com/

Obres de Jayne Anne Phillips

Lark and Termite (2009) 955 exemplars
Somnis de màquina (1984) 434 exemplars
Black Tickets: Stories (1979) 341 exemplars
Quiet Dell (2013) 272 exemplars
Shelter (1994) 265 exemplars
MotherKind (2000) 175 exemplars
Vies ràpides (1987) 150 exemplars
Night Watch (2023) 71 exemplars
Sweethearts (1976) 12 exemplars
Counting (1978) 7 exemplars
How Mickey made it (1981) 6 exemplars
The Secret Country (1982) 2 exemplars
Sense títol 1 exemplars

Obres associades

State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America (2008) — Col·laborador — 515 exemplars
The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories (1994) — Col·laborador — 477 exemplars
Points of View: Revised Edition (1966) — Col·laborador — 411 exemplars
The Granta Book of the American Short Story (1992) — Col·laborador — 368 exemplars
Sudden Fiction: American Short-Short Stories (1984) — Col·laborador — 362 exemplars
The Penguin Book of Lesbian Short Stories (1993) — Col·laborador — 295 exemplars
We Are the Stories We Tell (1990) — Col·laborador — 193 exemplars
Why I Write: Thoughts on the Craft of Fiction (1998) — Col·laborador — 187 exemplars
Granta 66: Truth and Lies (1999) — Col·laborador — 161 exemplars
Granta 82: Life's Like That (2003) — Col·laborador — 145 exemplars
Granta 35: An Unbearable Peace (1991) — Col·laborador — 139 exemplars
Granta 55: Children (1996) — Col·laborador — 130 exemplars
Granta 47: Losers (1994) — Col·laborador — 128 exemplars
Deep Down: The New Sensual Writing by Women (1988) — Col·laborador — 115 exemplars
American Short Stories (1976) — Col·laborador, algunes edicions95 exemplars
Granta 19: More Dirt (1986) — Col·laborador — 76 exemplars
Granta 8: Dirty Realism (1983) — Col·laborador — 72 exemplars
Listen to Their Voices: Twenty Interviews With Women Who Write (1993) — Col·laborador — 49 exemplars
Bloodroot: Reflections on Place by Appalachian Women Writers (1998) — Col·laborador — 44 exemplars
Granta 12: The True Adventures of The Rolling Stones (1984) — Col·laborador — 44 exemplars
The Collected Breece D'J Pancake: Stories, Fragments, Letters (2020) — Introducció, algunes edicions34 exemplars
The Secret Self: A Century of Short Stories by Women (1995) — Col·laborador — 33 exemplars
The Best American Short Stories 1979 (1979) — Col·laborador — 25 exemplars
The New Great American Writers' Cookbook (2003) — Col·laborador — 21 exemplars
A Portrait of Southern Writers: Photographs (2000) — Col·laborador — 13 exemplars
Harde liefde de ruigste verhalen uit de wereldliteratuur (1994) — Col·laborador — 12 exemplars
Reasons to Believe: New Voices in American Fiction (1988) — Col·laborador — 7 exemplars
Erotiske fortællinger fortalt af kvinder (1996) — Autor, algunes edicions2 exemplars
Fiction, Volume 6, Number 1 — Col·laborador — 1 exemplars

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This novel is set during and after the American Civil War and focuses on the lasting damage inflicted by war.

A man volunteers and becomes a sharpshooter fighting for the Union in 1861, leaving his pregnant wife in a cabin high in a mountain ridge in West Virginia. His wife, alone except for Dearbhla, their “granny neighbour” who lives in a nearby cabin, gives birth to a daughter whom she names ConaLee. After 1864, there is no news of the husband. A man, known only as Papa, comes by the isolated dwelling and basically enslaves ConaLee and her mother. The latter becomes so traumatized that she suffers mental and physical collapse. In 1874, after stealing everything from them, Papa abandons 12-year-old ConaLee and her mother at the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. The two are admitted as Miss Janet, a gentlelady, and Eliza, her nursemaid.

The novel shows Miss Janet’s slow recovery at the asylum. While in residence, they become acquainted with various residents and staff, including Dr. Story, the physician superintendent, and John O’Shea, the night watchman. The reader also learns what happened to ConaLee’s father during the war. In addition, the background of ConaLee’s parents, their connection to Dearbhla, and the reason for their sheltering in the remote mountains are revealed.

The book explores the lasting ravages of war: “The fighting has ceased, but not the grief.” There is only one battle scene; instead, the focus is on the consequences and long-term physical, emotional, and mental effects of war: “War scars last. . . . Generations . . .” because the consequences of war continue to unspool “like malignant thread.” John O’Shea fought in the war and, besides suffering permanent physical injuries, loses virtually everything important to him. ConaLee is deprived of a father and her childhood and becomes a victim of the lawlessness that came with and after the war. ConaLee’s mother loses her husband and is so terrorized by Papa that she becomes catatonic, leaving young ConaLee in charge of the household. Dearbhla’s family is torn apart.

What I found most interesting is the treatment of the patients in the asylum which follows an approach known as “moral treatment” based on the theory of real-life Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride whose directive and organization of institutions for the insane were the gold-standard of clinical care in psychiatry throughout the 19th century. Quotations from Dr. Kirkbride are included throughout. I was certainly surprised by the humane and empathetic approach. The list of “Reasons for Admission, 1864 to 1889” mentions “novel reading” so avid readers could have been seen as being in need of psychiatric care!

What I did not like is the novel’s reliance on coincidence. The book’s six most important characters are brought together in a contrived way to create a climax. One of those has escaped custody and reappears at just that moment?! Magic realism elements are included and this blending of fantasy and reality seems unnecessary, used only to arouse more pathos. The ending too is contrived, just too redemptive and melodramatic.

The novel was a 2023 National Book Award Nominee for Fiction. I was surprised to learn this because of the book’s uneven quality. An interesting story is told, but the reader must suspend disbelief several times in order to enjoy it.

Note: Please check out my reader's blog (https://schatjesshelves.blogspot.com/) and follow me on Twitter (https://twitter.com/DCYakabuski).
… (més)
 
Marcat
Schatje | Hi ha 2 ressenyes més | Jan 29, 2024 |
Set in the aftermath of the Civil War the novel opens in 1874 where we meet twelve-year-old ConaLee and her mother, Eliza, who has been mute for over a year as they are dropped off by a man she calls “Papa” at the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in West Virginia. O’Shea, the Night Watch lets them in and eventually, they find refuge in the Asylum, with Eliza under the care of the Physician Superintendent and ConaLee hiding the truth of her relationship with Eliza to be employed with the Asylum as caregiver to Eliza in return for room and board.

As the narrative progresses, we get to know more about ConaLee and Eliza’s story and the people and events that led to the present day. Eliza’s husband never returned from the War and with Dearbhla, who had raised her as her only friend, Eliza’s life had not been easy. Eliza’s story of loss and grief, fear, and abuse. Under the care of the kind doctor and the “Moral Treatment” practices in the asylum, Eliza begins to heal and ConaLee begins to search for answers about her mother’s past.

Night Watch by Jayne Anne Phillips is an interesting work of historical fiction that touches upon themes of PTSD, the ravages of war, trauma and abuse, mental health, and healing. The author describes the setting well and paints a vivid picture of life in the post-Civil War period. The main characters are well-developed, and the story is overall engaging despite the uneven pacing and slightly disjointed narrative that moves between past and present. The pace of the novel is on the slower side in the first half and uneven throughout. I thought the ending was rushed and a tad contrived, which is why I cannot give this novel a higher rating, though I did like the plot structure and how the story developed until the final quarter of the novel. Please note that there are disturbing descriptions of war injuries and sexual assault, which might be triggering for some readers.

The narrative is interspersed with quotes by Dr . Thomas Story Kirkbride, a physician known for his compassionate and respectful methods of treating the mentally ill. I found parts of the narrative quite informative and was motivated to read more about Dr. Kirkbride's methods for treating the mentally ill and about the Asylum which was a psychiatric hospital in West Virginia that was in operation from 1864 until 1994.

Many thanks to Knopf, Pantheon, Vintage, Anchor and NetGalley for the digital review copy. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
… (més)
½
 
Marcat
srms.reads | Hi ha 2 ressenyes més | Dec 31, 2023 |
The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was a refuge for ConaLee and her mother Eliza. Hidden in their mountain cabin, they survived the Civil War and the disappearance of her father who was fighting in the war. At least they had Dearbhla close by to help them. Dearbhla had raised both Eliza, the plantation owner’s daughter, and ConaLee’s orphaned father before they fled the plantation to be together. She understands the medicinal use of herbs and roots, her strength holding the family together. And, she holds family secrets.

Years after the war’s end, they were discovered by a cruel war veteran who torments Eliza into sexual subjection. She retreated into a pretend madness, leaving ConaLee to raise the baby Chap and newborn twins and run the house.

When he had taken all they had, the man ConaLee called Papa gave away the babes and dressed Eliza in widows weeds, and and took them to the Asylum. Eliza was designated as Miss Jane, and ConaLee a neighbor girl who took care of her. They arrived in the early hours of the morning. The Night Watch took them in and fed them his breakfast, the orphan child Weed in attendance.

The story unfolds through flashbacks to the war and their time at the Asylum, a cruel tale of hardship and injury and suffering, with a miraculous twist and heroic sacrifice, culminating in the women finding a safe haven and happiness.

The story was inspired by the real Asylum and historical records, where patients were cared for by an enlightened and humane doctor, and includes photographs and quotes from historical records.

The brutality of war and men is balanced by Dr. Story’s caring and the Night Watch’s ministrations. The women’s endurance to survive is central, especially ConaLee who is a character you won’t forget.

Thanks to the publisher for a free book.
… (més)
 
Marcat
nancyadair | Hi ha 2 ressenyes més | Nov 2, 2023 |

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Estadístiques

Obres
21
També de
32
Membres
2,827
Popularitat
#9,074
Valoració
½ 3.7
Ressenyes
93
ISBN
155
Llengües
11
Preferit
3

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