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Last Watch of the Night: Essays Too Personal and Otherwise

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  378 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
With Borrowed Time and Becoming a Man-the 1992 National Book Award winner for nonfiction-this collection completes Paul Monette’s autobiographical writing. Brimming with outrage yet tender, this is a “remarkable book” (Philadelphia Inquirer).
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 15th 1995 by Mariner Books (first published 1994)
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Jul 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
...I've been visiting my own grave for years now--pre-need, as they call it--and I don't require any further vigil from anybody. Unless it is some kind of safety zone. And as long as there's no piety in the gesture. I don't like flowers, but the deer do. Keats and Lawrence and Stevenson all died of their lungs, robbed by a century whose major products were soot and sulfur. We queers on Revelation hill [in Forest Lawn Cemetery], tucking our skirts about us so as not to touch our Mormon neighbors,
Confession: I've actually never finished this collection (the two last essays and afterthoughts remain unread), because I know that when I do, I'll have read everything Paul Monette wrote from the 1980s on. And I'm not emotionally prepared for that yet. But I've read the majority of it, and it's just. so. good. Almost every single essay is a knockout, though I'm particularly partial to "Puck" and "A One-Way Fare." It's almost unbearably sad to think how much more beautiful writing we might have ...more
When Borrowed Time came out in 1988, I was deep into my life as a librarian, wife, mother. I was expecting my second child and I believed like so many others that AIDs was a disease that would never touch my life. However, for whatever reason, I read Monette's memoir Borrowed Time, of his life with Rog and found the book touching and the events tragic.

More than 25 years later, I was reading about the books published by Open Road Media and there was Paul Monette's name. I had not thought of him i
Aug 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a collection of essays that Monette wrote the last years of his life, while he was fighting against AIDS.

Various are the themes he discusses, each more important than the other.

There is "Puck", named from his dog. Here he describes how the simple core of walking the dog at night has somehow helped Paul and Roger during a very difficult moment in their relationship. At the same time, when Roger is gone, the dog will be the loyal companion and a sort of "family" who has to "approve" as wel
Apr 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: morbid-books
I bought this collection of essays because it contains my favorite essay about visiting a grave: "3275." That is the number of the author's own grave, beside the first love of his life, whom he lost to AIDS, and beneath the grave of the second, lost several years earlier. Monette wanted his own epitaph to read "Died of Homophobia, Murdered by His Government." It's the only essay I've read written by a dying man contemplating the hole that will swallow him.

Monette didn't believe in life after dea
Jun 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
These essays by my second favorite writer ever were written right before he died. They are angry, funny, moving, elegiac. He reaches in and grabs your heart and doesn't let go until you are transformed. Corny? Sue me, I am madly in love with this writing.
Mar 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I just re-read the short story, Gert from Paul Monette's Last Watch of the Night. I think it's one of the best short stories ever written. The fact that its memoir makes it even more intimate and important. What a beautiful voice in Paul Monette which we lost during the AIDS crisis.
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Read three in a row by Monette, with this one coming last. Loved it. Reading all three together made it feel like reading a really comprehensive memoir.
Apr 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Excellent collection of essays as Monette deals with the final stages of AIDS. Nicely captures the March on Washington.
Mar 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Monette's voice will move you to a reality that will awaken your soul.
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Documentary: On Brink of Summer's End 1996

Online Guide to Paul Monette's papers at UCLA:

In novels, poetry, and a memoir, Paul Monette wrote about gay men striving to fashion personal identities and, later, coping with the loss of a lover to AIDS.

Monette was born in Lawrence, Massac
More about Paul Monette...
“Don't let anyone tell you that the truth can't disappear. If I believe in anything, rather than God, is that I am part of something that goes all the way back to Antigone, and that whatever speaks the truth of our hearts can only make us stronger. Can only give us the power to counter the hate and bigotry and heal this addled world.
Just remember: You are not alone.”
“The struggle for true openness and intimacy is a lifelong struggle for all of us, gay and straight alike. And besides, a difficult life brings you to the core of yourself, where you learn what justice is and how it has to be fought for.” 6 likes
More quotes…