Arrogance and innocence, hubris and hope - twenty-four haunting voices of the Titanic tragedy, as well as the iceberg itself, are evoked in a stunning tour de force.
The Watch That Ends the Night : Voices from the Titanic by Allan Wolf
Millionaire John Jacob Astor hopes to bring home his pregnant teen bride with a minimum of media scandal. A beautiful Lebanese refugee, on her way to family in Florida, discovers the first stirrings of love. And an ancient iceberg glides south, anticipating its fateful encounter. The voices in this remarkable re-creation of the Titanic disaster span classes and stations, from Margaret ("the unsinkable Molly") Brown to the captain who went down with his ship; from the lookout and wireless men to a young boy in search of dragons and a gambler in search of marks. Slipping in telegraphs, undertaker's reports, and other records, poet Allan Wolf offers a breathtaking, intimate glimpse at the lives behind the tragedy, told with clear-eyed compassion and astounding emotional power.
Extensive back matter includes: Author's note; Notes on the characters; Morse code with messages to decipher; Titanic miscellany; Bibliography, articles, periodicals, government documents, discography; Encyclopedia Titanica research and other online resources; Titanic societies.
How do you tell a dramatic story when you know that everyone already knows the ending? Allan Wolf has combined meticulous research with open-hearted poetry to craft the story of the Titanic in a fresh and compelling way. A remarkable accomplishment. — Helen Frost, author of Crossing Stones and Hidden
A masterpiece. Wolf leaves no emotion unplumbed, no area of research uninvestigated, and his voices are so authentic they hurt. Everyone should read it. —Booklist
Wolf constructs a richly textured novel in verse that recreates the Titanic's ill-fated journey, predominantly through the voices of her passengers... Wolf's carefully crafted characters evolve as the voyage slides to its icy conclusion; readers may be surprised by the potency of the final impact. —Publishers Weekly
Twenty-four voices-of passengers, rats and even the iceberg-evoke the human tragedy of the ill-fated voyage. Wolf brings the history and, more importantly, the human scale of the event to life by giving voice to the players themselves . . . A lyrical, monumental work of fact and imagination that reads like an oral history revved up by the drama of the event. —Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Allan Wolf: educator-writer-musician extraordinaire. He has literally hundreds of poems committed to memory. He is a veteran traveller through all the diverse worlds of poetry - from poetry slams to public schools, salons to saloons. He turns classic poetry into acoustic tunes as the drummer for The Dead Poets band. He put the Oh! in poetry as the educational director for national touring company Poetry Alive! Allan Wolf knows poems.
This expertise was exhibited in Allan Wolf's first book with Candlewick Press, THE BLOOD-HUNGRY SPLEEN AND OTHER POEMS ABOUT OUR PARTS. A collection of wacky--and anatomically correct poems about body parts, THE BLOOD-HUNGRY SPLEEN is transforming science classes across the USA. Before starting the book, Allan Wolf drew on inspiration from his stint as "Poet in Residence" at a school in Seoul, Korea.
"A sixth-grade life science class had displayed their poems about anatomy on a life-size chart of the human body," explains the author. "There was a poem about the intestines on the intestines. A poem about the brain was written on the brain." Since then, he says, "the human body has proved to be an infinite universe of poetic inspiration."
Allan Wolf's next book with Candlewick Press, NEW FOUND LAND: A VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY, also reveals the writer's poetic roots. The exhilarating tale of Lewis and Clark's journey is written in poetic form: a medley of lyrical and powerful voices from the surprisingly diverse crew.
"During the four years it took to research and write NEW FOUND LAND, my head was constantly crowded with the novel's fourteen voices," Allan Wolf says. "They talked to me as I made breakfast, as I dressed the baby, as I delivered newspapers and as I brushed my teeth. They talked and talked. Alone in my car I began to talk back. And together all fifteen of us worked out the details of the story. Happily, my head is now quiet, the voices having moved to their permanent home within this book."
Allan Wolf lives in North Carolina, USA, with his wife and three children.