Night Navigation opens on a freezing-rain night in upstate New York: the kindling gone, the fire in the woodstove out. Dels thirty-seven-year-old manic-depressive son needs a ride, but shes afraid to make the long drive north to the only detox that has a bed.
Through the four seasons, Night Navigation takes us into the deranged, darkly humorous world of the addictfrom break-your-arm dealers, to boot-camp rehabs, to Rumi-quoting NA sponsors. Al-Anon tells Del to let go; NAMI tells her to hang on. Mark cannot find a way to live in this world. Del cannot stop trying to rescue him. And yet, during this long years night, through relapse and despair, they see flare-ups of hope as Mark and Del fitfully, painfully try to steer toward the light.
Told in the alternating voices of an addict and his mother, this riveting novel adds new depths to our understanding and our literature of parents and their troubled children.
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"Howard is a graceful, spare and fluid writer, and her somber and bleak novel has the power to lift and inspire." - Publishers Weekly.
"Starred Review. Harrowing first novel about the uneasy symbiosis of an addict and his mother." - Kirkus Reviews.
"A gritty, unblinking, compassionate portrait of addiction the deceptions, the exhausting repetitions, and most of all the agonizing dilemmas of parental love, which may or may not have the power to save but can never stop trying." Joan Wickersham, author of The Suicide Index.
"Ginnah Howard's raw, vivid account of addiction and codependency unflinchingly explores the vast darkness of guilt and despair. The stark, urgent voices of mother and son ache with anger and love, fear and hope. Howard's ability to dive so deep into the human psyche is a testament to her grace and compassion as a writer. Night Navigation will leave you breathless--a haunting, riveting debut." Kiara Brinkman, author of Up High in the Trees.
"Night Navigation is unerring in its grasp of the multiple deceptions of the addictive relationship, the self-deceptions above all. You can't help getting furious at its characters. And you can't help loving them." Peter Trachtenberg author of The Book of Calamities
"I fully enjoyed and admire this sparely written, unsparing portrait of a deeply troubled American family. Ginnah Howard is a wonderful new writer." Hilma Wolitzer, author of Summer Reading and The Doctor's Daughter.
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Ginnah Howard taught high school English for 27 years. Her work has appeared in the Portland Review, Permafrost, Blueline, A Room of One's Own, Water-Stone Review, Ballyhoo and Eclipse and Natural Bridge. She has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has been granted residencies at Cummington Community of the Arts, The MacDowell Colony, Blue Mountain Center, Ucross, Hedgebrook, and Saltonstall. She currently lives in Gilbertsville, NY. She can be found online at ginnahhoward.com.
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