Ginnah Howard

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Nonfiction: I'm Sick of This Already

Rope & Bone

Novel Night Navigation

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Examples of the Two Voices of Night Navigation

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The Alternating Voices of Night Navigation


Del uses Horseshoe crabs imagery in her artwork.

Del:  She turns the ringers off, turns down the answering machine. Drug dramas and manic depression: hard to know which roller coaster you’re riding. At least twenty years that any call in the night registers 10 on her adrenaline Richter. During what she thinks of as Tarbaby-time, say when he’s got another knot of infection swelling his arm that’s red-lining its way to his heart and she’s driving him to emergency again, she wishes he’d just go ahead and kill himself and put them all out of their misery. Other times she’s sure this is the best place for him to be. His father’s, his brother’s ashes buried up on their hill. They’re all here together: Working on it.


Mark is taunted by a crow.

Mark:  He dials the hospital numbers. He knows to get admitted all he has to do is tell the truth. Yes, he’s got Medicare and Medicaid. He last used 30 minutes ago. Morphine. He prefers not to mention his pharmaceutical source. He’s been using since maybe he was 13: LSD, marijuana. Lots of LSD. Heroin. Off and on since he was in his late-twenties. He’s dual diagnosis. Bipolar disorder. Onset probably about 13. Though all was not well long before that he’s sure. The hospital switches him to Gregorian chants. Then an all-business woman is back in his ear. He’s on the waiting list.



“Kafka wrote that a book must be the axe to the frozen sea inside us. Ginnah Howard’s astonishing debut novel, Night Navigation, is just such an axe: sharp and fierce, enlivening and enlightening. Howard’s gripping tale... lays bare the marrow of familial love—its messy desperation and its stubborn, enduring beauty.”

— Maud Casey, author of Genealogy,
     A New York Times Editor’s Choice


“Ginnah Howard's raw, vivid account of addiction and codependency unflinchingly explores the vast darkness of guilt and despair. The stark, urgent voices of mother and son ache with anger and love, fear and hope. Howard's ability to dive so deep into the human psyche is a testament to her grace and compassion as a writer. Night Navigation will leave you breathless—a haunting, riveting debut.”

— Kiara Brinkman, author of
    Up High in the Trees


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