Peter Cameron

Books Anna Stein, +1 212 556 5600 Email Anna Stein

What Happens at Night

book | Fiction | 2020
US → Catapult (Ed. Leigh Newman)

ICM Partners

What Happens at Night is an eerie, dream-woven tale of an American couple’s journey to a fictional, remote, Northern European town, where they plan to adopt a child. “The woman,” is recovering from failed intensive cancer treatments, and hopes that by adopting this child she will be able to die knowing that her husband is not completely alone. Her husband, “the man,” resides in foolish denial of her impending death, counting on the child to glue their broken marriage back together.

The couple checks in to the Borgarfjaroasysla Grand Imperial – a cavernous and mysteriously underpopulated hotel with employees and guests who seem as much atavistic fixtures of the place as the décor. This cast of fur-coated characters – a rude and handsy businessman; a lonely, aging chanteuse; an alluring faith healer, and a stoic but accommodating bartender – malign and guide the couple throughout the novel. Sparse and deliciously sinister, Cameron has channeled a Lynchian domestic nightmare with the cadence of a Chekhov play and dropped it into The Shining’s Overlook Hotel. What Happens at Night weaves a haunting excavation of companionship and desire.


Claire Nozieres manages the translation rights for What Happens at Night

Translation Rights Sold

Editions Christian Bourgois
Liebeskind Verlag
Adelphi Edizioni
Tyto Alba
Libros Del Asteroide E.L.

This new novel is a powerful and admirable addition to Cameron’s estimable body of work.

Ricky Moody
Full Review

I don't think I've ever read a book by an American or by a living person that's as exquisitely rendered as What Happens At Night. Every word is exactly as it should be; there is not a single extra word out of place.

AM Homes
Full Review

The prose in What Happens at Night is faultlessly elegant and quietly menacing, like a tuxedo lined with knives. I can’t think of another book at once so beautiful and so unnerving, so poised between miracle and disaster. Peter Cameron is one of America’s greatest writers, the living stylist I most revere.

Garth Greenwell
Author of What Belongs to You and Cleanness

In his characteristically precise and limpid prose, Peter Cameron invents a virtuosic tale that is by turns terrifying, comic, and heartbreaking. We do not always know whether we are in the realm of the real or the hallucinatory in this thrillingly mysterious and gorgeously written novel. What is never in doubt is that we are in the hands of a ravishing stylist and a supremely gifted storyteller.

Sigrid Nunez

This book is a masterpiece—reading it reminds me of the first time I read Kafka. A whole new vision is suddenly revealed: unique, unexpected, unforgettable.

Get ready for a new adjective: “Cameroneque.” 

Edmund White

In the beautiful What Happens At Night, Peter Cameron sends married couple to a mysterious northern country where only the schnapps is reliable.The world he creates is both recognisable and enchantingly strange. I never knew what was going to happen next and I couldn’t stop turning the pages. A profound pleasure for readers.

Margot Livesey
Author of Mercury and The Flight of Gemma Hardy

Anna Stein
+1 212 556 5600
Email Anna Stein
Lucy Luck
+44 (0) 20 7393 4221
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Translation Rights
Claire Nozieres
+44 (0)20 7393 4425
Email Claire Nozieres