Last Watch of the Night: Essays Too Personal and Otherwise

Front Cover
Harcourt Brace, 1994 - Health & Fitness - 309 pages
13 Reviews
Paul Monette's autobiography - Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story, a searingly honest account of growing up gay in America - won the 1992 National Book Award for Nonfiction. In the year and a half since, even as he battles full-blown AIDS, he has been writing essays on a variety of subjects. A portrait of his dog, as they endure together the losses of friends and then the ravages of the author's own illness. An atheist's appreciation of the saintliness of priests. A meditation on a lifetime of travel that is also an inquiry into the meaning of time. The 1993 March on Washington and what it means to be gay and lesbian now, in a time of rising bigotry and intolerance. Monette excoriates with Swiftian vigor the do-nothing politicians, so-called Christians, and halfhearted journalists. Throughout, as a kind of counterpoint, he examines the medical and emotional landscape of his illness, with references to the Classical world and the genius of English poetry. He is by turns philosophical, humorous, self-critical. With Borrowed Time and Becoming a Man, these essays constitute the third volume of Paul Monette's autobiographical writing. Freewheeling and yet focused, brimming with outrage and yet tender, Last Watch of the Night represents a profound personal reconciliation but also a testament to the struggle for freedom of all gay and lesbian people.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Last Watch of the Night: Essays Too Personal and Otherwise

User Review  - Clayton Greiman - Goodreads

The subtitle is the key to why I ranked the book only three stars. Some of the chapters are too personally related to Mr. Monette's life; they do not engage a reader who was not an intimate ... Read full review

Review: Last Watch of the Night: Essays Too Personal and Otherwise

User Review  - Philip - Goodreads

I just re-read the short story, Gert from Paul Monette's Last Watch of the Night. I think it's one of the best short stories ever written. The fact that its memoir makes it even more intimate and important. What a beautiful voice in Paul Monette which we lost during the AIDS crisis. Read full review


My Priests

7 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1994)

Paul Monette was born on October 16, 1945 in Lawrence, Mass., and has published numerous poetry collections, novels, novelizations, memoirs, and nonfiction works. A distinguished author of both poetry and prose, Monette's writings often explored issues relating to homosexuality and AIDS. After receiving critical acclaim in 1975 for a poetry collection The Carpenter at the Asylum, he veered away from his mainstay theme and produced an unlikely pair of books that demonstrated his poet's way with words. The books were No Witnesses, a collection of poems featuring imaginary adventures of famous figures, written in 1981, and The Long Shot, a mystery in which an avid shopper and a forger team to solve a murder. However, his following mystery, Lightfall, written in 1982, was not well-received by the critics. Monette next wrote Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story, which won the National Book Award for nonfiction in 1992. His last work, Last Watch of the Night: Essays Too Personal and Otherwise, was a collection of 10 moving and uncompromising essays dealing with topics such as his beloved dog Puck and the 1993 Gay and Lesbian March on Washington, D.C. Paul Monette died as a result of complications from AIDS on February 18, 1995.

Bibliographic information