One of the greatest books of the twentieth century.

—William S. Burroughs

Reissue of a fiery and enigmatic masterpiece, one of the greatest novels of the Modernist era

Nightwood

Fiction by Djuna Barnes

With a contribution by T. S. Eliot Jeanette Winterson

Nightwood, Djuna Barnes’ strange and sinuous tour de force, “belongs to that small class of books that somehow reflect a time or an epoch” (TLS). That time is the period between the two World Wars, and Barnes’ novel unfolds in the decadent shadows of Europe’s great cities, Paris, Berlin, and Vienna—a world in which the boundaries of class, religion, and sexuality are bold but surprisingly porous. The outsized characters who inhabit this world are some of the most memorable in all of fiction—there is Guido Volkbein, the Wandering Jew and son of a self-proclaimed baron; Robin Vote, the American expatriate who marries him and then engages in a series of affairs, first with Nora Flood and then with Jenny Petherbridge, driving all of her lovers to distraction with her passion for wandering alone in the night; and there is Dr. Matthew-Mighty-Grain-of-Salt-Dante-O’Connor, a transvestite and ostensible gynecologist, whose digressive speeches brim with fury, keen insights, and surprising allusions. Barnes’ depiction of these characters and their relationships (Nora says, “A man is another person—a woman is yourself, caught as you turn in panic; on her mouth you kiss your own”) has made the novel a landmark of feminist and lesbian literature. Most striking of all is Barnes’ unparalleled stylistic innovation, which led T. S. Eliot to proclaim the book “so good a novel that only sensibilities trained on poetry can wholly appreciate it.” Now with a new preface by Jeanette Winterson, Nightwood still crackles with the same electric charge it had on its first publication in 1936.

Your Independent Bookstore Barnes & Noble

Paperback (published September 1, 2008)

ISBN
9780811216715
Price US
14.95
Price CN
16.5
Trim Size
5x8
Page Count
208

Ebook (published September 1, 2008)

ISBN
9780811221436
Page Count
208

Djuna Barnes

20th century American journalist, novelist and Modernist writer

One of the greatest books of the twentieth century.

—William S. Burroughs

Nightwood is itself. It is its own created world, exotic and strange, and reading it is like drinking wine with a pearl dissolving in the glass. You have taken in more than you know, and it will go on doing its work. From now on, a part of you is pearl-lined.

—Jeanette Winterson

A novel of extraordinary and appalling force, a study of moral degeneration recited in a rhetoric so intensely wrought, so violent and so artificial, that it… became a kind of symbol of sinister magnificence.

New York Times