Night Wherever We Go
Shortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize 2023
‘A hugely impressive debut’ SARAH WATERS
‘[A] haunting and moving story’ SUNDAY TIMES
‘A powerful and inspired achievement. This one is not to be missed’ NATHAN HARRIS
’A haunting, powerful and utterly unforgettable read’ RACHEL HENG
An intimate look at the domestic lives of enslaved women, NIGHT WHEREVER WE GO is an evocative meditation on resistance and autonomy, on love and transcendence and the bonds of female friendship in the darkest of circumstances.
On a struggling Texas plantation, six enslaved women slip from their sleeping quarters and gather in the woods under the cover of night. The Lucys—as they call the plantation owners, after Lucifer himself—have decided to turn around the farm’s bleak financial prospects by making the women bear children. They have hired a “stockman” to impregnate them. But the women are determined to protect themselves.
Now, each of the six faces a choice. Nan, the doctoring woman, has brought a sack of cotton root clippings that can stave off children when chewed daily. If they all take part, the Lucys may give up and send the stockman away. But a pregnancy for any of them will only encourage the Lucys further. And should their plan be discovered, the consequences will be severe.
Visceral and illuminating, Night Wherever We Go marks the arrival of a bold, lyrical and powerful new voice in fiction.
”'A haunting evocation of the routine brutalities of slavery that is also a powerful celebration of friendship, community, resilience and rebellion. A hugely impressive debut” - SARAH WATERS
”'A haunting, moving story” - SUNDAY TIMES
”'A powerful and inspired achievement… gives voice to the enslaved women of this nation’s past who have, for far too long, had their voices gone unheard in the annals of history. She does them justice and then some. This one is not to be missed” - NATHAN HARRIS, author of The Sweetness of Water
”'Extraordinary: a beautiful book about harrowing things, beautiful because of its understanding of humanity, its astonishing language, and the plain brilliance of its author. I'm not sure I've recovered from the experience of reading it, or ever will, or ever should” - ELIZABETH MCCRACKEN
”'A tale of epic survival, a song of collective resilience, an intimate exploration of love, friendship and sisterhood in the face of harrowing cruelty and injustice. In lyrical and precise prose, Peyton evokes an indelible portrait of each woman's complicated desires, hopes and fears. And in spite of the characters' difficult lives, this is a book about joy and transcendence as much as it is about trauma and loss. The complex and varied voices of the women that inhabit Night Wherever We Go make it a haunting, powerful and utterly unforgettable read” - RACHEL HENG, author of Suicide Club
”'Night Wherever We Go has the potential to change how Blacknesses, Texas and the nation are written about forever” - KIESE LAYMON, author of Long Division