The Watch: A Novel

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9780307955890: The Watch: A Novel

   Following a desperate night-long battle, a group of beleaguered soldiers in an isolated base in Kandahar are faced with a lone woman demanding the return of her brother’s body. Is she a spy, a black widow, a lunatic, or is she what she claims to be: a grieving young sister intent on burying her brother according to local rites? Single-minded in her mission, she refuses to move from her spot on the field in full view of every soldier in the stark outpost. Her presence quickly proves dangerous as the camp’s tense, claustrophobic atmosphere comes to a boil when the men begin arguing about what to do next.
   Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya’s heartbreaking and haunting novel, The Watch, takes a timeless tragedy and hurls it into present-day Afghanistan. Taking its cues from the Antigone myth, Roy-Bhattacharya brilliantly recreates the chaos, intensity, and immediacy of battle, and conveys the inevitable repercussions felt by the soldiers, their families, and by one sister. The result is a gripping tour through the reality of this very contemporary conflict, and our most powerful expression to date of the nature and futility of war.

Learn more at wwww.joydeeproybhattacharya.com 

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Review:

Amazon Best Books of the Month, June 2012: A legless woman approaches a military outpost in Afghanistan's Kandahar Province, ostensibly to retrieve the body of her brother, who has been killed in a firefight. Having survived that firefight, the soldiers inside the compound are wary and edgy. That's the setup to a taut and gritty story that unfolds amid the dust, shadows, and unease of one slice of the war in Afghanistan. Playing with the myth of Antigone, Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya has crafted an eloquent and intimate look at the types of events still occurring on a daily basis. At the Tarsandan combat outpost, as the woman refuses to leave and questions mount about her true intentions, everything comes into question--what's right and wrong? why are we here? Barbaric, heartfelt, heartbreaking, and lyrical, this is a primal and beautiful work. And a page-turner to the very last page. --Neal Thompson

About the Author:

Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya was educated in politics and philosophy at Presidency College, Calcutta, and the University of Pennsylvania. His novels The Gabriel Club and The Storyteller of Marrakesh have been published in fourteen languages. He lives in the Hudson Valley in upstate New York.

Visit him at joydeeproybhattacharya.com.

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