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Know the Night

Know the Night

A Memoir of Survival in the Small Hours

In this soul-stirring debut memoir, Maria Mutch explores the miraculous power that care and communication have in the face of the deep, personal isolation that often comes with disability. A chronicle of the witching hours between midnight and six a.m., this meditative book takes place during the twoyear period in which Mutch’s son Gabriel, who is autistic and also has Down syndrome, rarely slept through the night. In this tapestry composed of interwoven memories, we see both Gabriel’s difficult childhood and Maria’s introduction to the world of multiple disability parenting.

As a counterpoint to Gabriel’s figurative isolation is the story of Admiral Richard Byrd, the polar explorer who journeyed alone into the Antarctic wilderness in the 1930s. His story creates a shared and powerful language for the experience of feeling alone.

In these three characters—mother, son, and explorer—Mutch reveals overlapping and layered themes of solitude that, far from driving us apart, enlighten, uplift, and connect.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 224 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476702742 | 
  • March 2014
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About the Author

Maria Mutch
Robin Wilson

Maria Mutch

Maria Mutch’s poems, essays, and short fiction have appeared in various literary journals, and her story “Hot Hot Day” received a citation from the Canadian National Magazine Awards. She lives with her husband and two boys in Rhode Island. Know the Night is her first book.

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