An atmospheric, suspenseful story of a couple’s struggle to adopt a baby, while staying in a fading, grand European hotel. (Think: Barton Fink crossed with Patricia Highsmith.)
“What Happens at Night is faultlessly elegant and quietly menacing, like a tuxedo lined with knives. Peter Cameron is one of America’s greatest writers, the living stylist I most revere.” —Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You
On Sale August 4, 2020 • ISBN 9781948226967
In this atmospheric novel, an American couple travels to a strange, snowy European city to adopt a baby, who they hope will resurrect their failing marriage. Their difficult journey leaves the wife, who is struggling with cancer, desperately weak, and her husband worries that her illness will prevent the orphanage from releasing their child.
The couple checks into the 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.
Peter Cameron is the author of eight novels (including Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You and Coral Glynn) 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.