*A SPECTATOR BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR 2021*
AN UNFORGETTABLE NOVEL CONFRONTING LOVE, DEATH, AND OUR INADEQUACY YET PERSISTANCE IN THE FACE OF BOTH
“Like a Kafka story and a Wes Anderson movie combined.”―Literary Hub
“Terrifying, comic and heart-breaking.”—Sigrid Nunez
“This beautifully written and wonderfully droll novel brilliantly captures the frustrations and unease of being in a foreign environment.”—The Spectator
“Full of foreboding, What Happens At Night draws the reader on without questioning. A rich experience.”―Literary Review
A couple travel to a strange, snowy European city to adopt a baby, who they hope will resurrect their failing marriage. Their difficult journey leaves the wife 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 they are both helped and hampered by the people they encounter: an ancient, flamboyant chanteuse, a debauched businessman, an enigmatic faith healer, and a stoical bartender who dispenses an addictive, lichen-flavoured schnapps.
Nothing is as it seems in this baffling, frozen world, and the longer the couple endure the punishing cold the less they seem to know about their marriage, themselves, and even life itself.
Peter Cameron is the author of several novels, including Andorra, The Weekend, and Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You. His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Rolling Stone, and many other literary journals. Merchant Ivory made a film based on his novel The City of Your Final Destination. He lives in New York City and Vermont.