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Shop  >>  Books  >>  Fiction (General)

Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya

Watch, The

Joydeep Roy Bhattacharya Watch The
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   Following a desperate night-long battle, a group of beleaguered soldiers in an isolated base in Kandahar are faced with a lone woman demanding the return of her brother’s body. Is she a spy, a black widow, a lunatic, or is she what she claims to be: a grieving young sister intent on burying her brother according to local rites? Single-minded in her mission, she refuses to move from her spot on the field in full view of every soldier in the stark outpost. Her presence quickly proves dangerous as the camp’s tense, claustrophobic atmosphere comes to a boil when the men begin arguing about what to do next.
   Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya’s heartbreaking and haunting novel, The Watch, takes a timeless tragedy and hurls it into present-day Afghanistan. Taking its cues from the Antigone myth, Roy-Bhattacharya brilliantly recreates the chaos, intensity, and immediacy of battle, and conveys the inevitable repercussions felt by the soldiers, their families, and by one sister. The result is a gripping tour through the reality of this very contemporary conflict, and our most powerful expression to date of the nature and futility of war.

Learn more at wwww.joydeeproybhattacharya.com 

“We watch as the resistance of an isolated American garrison in Afghanistan is ground down, not by force of arms but by the will of a single unarmed woman, holding inflexibly to an idea of what is just and right.”
–J.M. Coetzee, recipient of the Nobel Prize and a two-time Man Booker Prize winner

“Roy-Bhattacharya re-animates the timeless themes of Antigone…This brave, visceral novel breaks new ground and does what previous versions of Antigone never have: It makes each character deeply humane, challenging the reader to sympathize with every one of them.” –NPR.org

“[The novel] achieves a subtle balance of dramatic forces—personal morality and public order, duty to God and duty to country—that gives it a philosophical depth and wrenching humanity…Mr. Roy-Bhattacharya brings a rigorous and often disquieting sense of empathy to each of his clashing characters. There is no outright villain here, only the collision of people stubbornly holding to what they believe to be right and honorable. This is the essence of tragedy, and it makes The Watch the first great novel of the war in Afghanistan.” –Wall Street Journal

“An engaging work of timeless imagination, both vivid and gritty.” –Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star

The Watch is an important war novel.” –Dallas News
 
“Antigone, the mythological heroine of Sophocles’ 2,500-year-old drama, pleads with King Creon to allow her to bury her brother, who died in battle. It must be done or the gods will be unhappy. A beautiful re-enactment of this tragedy plays out in the dust of a forlorn outpost in Afghanistan when a young woman parks herself outside a fort and pleads with American soldiers stationed there to give her the body of her brother slain in the conflict…So worthwhile to read this lyrical drama about the horror of war to find out.” –New Jersey Star Ledger, Kathleen Daley
 
“A heartbreaking and haunting look at the nature and reality of war.” –Wichita Eagle, Watermark Books New & Recommended
 
“The fog of war doesn't begin to describe what awaits the American soldiers in Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya's novel The Watch … Roy-Bhattacharya consulted with front-line officers to get his details right. His description of the firefight in a sandstorm is gripping and terrifying; so are his overlapping accounts of the ethical and military decisions that young men, fatigued, distraught and unsupported, have to make.” –Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

“The power of Roy-Bhattacharya's novel is his understanding of all the motivations driving his players. None of their reasons is unreasonable... except as perceived by the other side… Roy-Bhattacharya's brutally honest portrayal of a remote Afghan confrontation explores the complexities of America's longest war.” –Shelf Awareness
 

“If you want a book that's going to pull you in a dozen different emotional directions, confuse you, intrigue you, then rip your heart into shreds, The Watch is the book for you. It's a brilliant, multi-dimensional examination of the war in Afghanistan told from different points of view. [A] really incredible book. It will truly stay with you for a long time after you put it down, and you won't want to.” —The Boston Bibliophile
 
“H]ere's a novel that has a little different slant on modern combat--it puts us on the other side of the concertina wire ringing the American compounds in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The Watch takes the classic story of Antigone and puts in the tense, frightening setting of sand, heat and hair-trigger nerves.” —David Abrams, author of Fobbit
 
“Must read fiction.  [A] subtle, discomfiting novel, a nonsequential tale that defies conventional storytelling. It contains first-person descriptions from characters who end up dead—traditionally a no-no in fiction, as it tricks the reader into believing such characters have “lived to tell the tale.” And yet in a novel inspired by the tale of Antigone (who made her name by flouting the so-called rule of law), defying convention seems perfectly apt … The threat of the unexpected is one of this novel’s most charming enticements, along with its beautiful renderings of the harsh Afghan landscape, where ‘mountains look like serrated shadows rising into the air’ …Given the author’s deft arrangement of scenes, readers will dutifully persevere to see what happens, even if the ending is foretold, tragic, and seemingly inevitable.” —The Daily Beast
 
“[A] rendering as disturbing as Antigone and stands as an original itself … Roy-Bhattacharya leads the reader down a path of discovery and demonstrates how misunderstanding can be perpetuated in what is ultimately a microcosm of the war itself … Dream sequences that meld into reality, and vice versa, create a surreal atmosphere that crosses from the conscious world to the unconscious, mimicking the blurred line between life and death in combat.  The Watch is a tale that illustrates the futility of war at its most basic level.” —BookBrowse, featured review
 
“What it’s about: Set in modern Afghanistan, this tragic tale about a sister who demands that American soldiers return her brother’s body echoes the Greek tragedy 'Antigone.' -Why it’s hot: 'Publishers Weekly' compared the Indian-born novelist to past masters of the war novel like Joseph Heller, Tim O’Brien and Robert Stone.” —USA Today Summer Books Literary Fiction Pick
 
“Indian novelist Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya adapts the Greek tragedy of Antigone to present-day Afghanistan, telling a harrowing story of a woman who demands the return of her brother’s body and refuses to leave a US military base in Kandahar.” —Christian Science Monitor Best Books of Summer 2012
 
“[A] poignant tale of the war in Afghanistan. Inevitable repercussions for the soldiers and citizens of the country play out viscerally in a plot that takes its cues from the Antigone myth.” —The Columbus Dispatch
 
“When a woman approaches a group of soldiers based in Kandahar demanding they procure her b

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