The Watch by Joydeep Roy-BhattacharyaThe Watch by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya

The Watch

byJoydeep Roy-Bhattacharya

Paperback | March 12, 2013

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At a stark outpost in the Kandahar mountain range, a team of American soldiers watches a young Afghan woman approach. She has come to beg for the return of her brother's body. The camp's tense, claustrophobic atmosphere comes to a boil as the men argue about what to do next. Taking its cue from the Antigone myth, this significant, eloquent novel re-creates the chaos, intensity and immediacy of war, and conveys the inevitable repercussions felt by the soldiers and their families--especially one sister.

JOYDEEP ROY-BHATTACHARYA was born in Jamshedpur, India, and educated in politics and philosophy at Calcutta University and the University of Pennsylvania. His novels, The Gabriel Club and The Storyteller of Marrakesh, have been published in 11 languages in 16 countries. The author lives in Rhinebeck, NY.
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Title:The WatchFormat:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 8 × 5.38 × 0.91 inPublished:March 12, 2013Publisher:Knopf CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:030740224X

ISBN - 13:9780307402240

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Eye Opening Story Description: Knopf Canada|June 5, 2012|Hardcover|ISBN: 978-0-307-40223-3 In this powerful novel set in contemporary Kandahar, an Afghan woman approaches an American military base to demand the return of her brother’s body. At a stark outpost in the Kandahar mountain range, a team of American soldiers watches a young Afghan woman approach. She has come to beg for the return of her brother’s body. The camp’s tense, claustrophobic atmosphere comes to a boil as the men argue about what to do next. Taking its cue from the Antigone myth, this significant, eloquent novel re-creates the chaos, intensity, and immediacy of war, and conveys the inevitable repercussions felt by the soldiers and their families – especially one sister. My Review: A woman who has lost both of her legs in an air attack on her village wheels herself on a little cart many, many miles to an American Army base in Kandahar. She stops outside and begins to communicate with the soldiers inside by yelling back and forth. She tells them that she has come to claim the body of her brother so she can give him a proper burial that she feels he so rightly deserves. The soldiers on the army base don’t trust her and think she may be harbouring a bomb in her small cart. At night, under cover of darkness, they turn on spot lights to keep an eye on her. Is retrieving her brother’s body the real reason she has come? The story weaves in other stories of the soldiers on the base with a realistic depiction of the language and behaviour of the soldiers. All of the soldiers are trying to decide what this woman’s real intent is. The Watch gives us non-military folk first-hand experience about what war zones are really like. I now have a better understanding why a lot of these soldiers return home changed people. Overall, this was an excellent and eye-opening read.
Date published: 2012-09-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read A veiled figure in the distance, moving inexorably toward the American military base. This Pashtun woman named Nizam, wants to collect her brother Yusuf's body for a proper burial. Her request sets off a chain of events, as we move from her perspective to that of the base medic, then a young interpreter, and finally the various American soldiers who witness her Sophoclean plight and record their observations in journal entries.
Date published: 2012-08-11

Editorial Reviews

"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"A contemporary rumination on a clash of cultures and ideologies. Roy-Bhattacharya tells his story from multiple, conflicting points of view--this is fiction that forces us to react, to feel, perhaps even to change our minds." National Post"The first great novel of the war in Afghanistan." The Wall Street Journal"Roy-Bhattacharya's lyrical prose captures superbly the brutal realities of combat." The Sunday Times "I've had a hard time putting The Watch down since first cracking it.... It's remarkable for its grasp of the soldier culture, pop culture, military idiom, not to mention the complexity of the Afghan contemporary and historical reality (which are more or less one and the same)." Linden MacIntyre, author of The Bishop's Man and Why Men Lie"Every war spawns its major literary works, and Roy-Bhattacharya's...powerful, modern take on the Afghanistan armed conflict resonates with the echoes of Joseph Heller, Tim O'Brien and Robert Stone." Publishers Weekly (starred review)