Judie Watson
Judie Watson asked Julia Glass:

I've heard "What a Wonderful World" a thousand times, but the words "and the dark sacred night" never stood out. How did those words grab you and inspire you to title the book? Or was it the other way around...the title came from what you wrote?

Julia Glass Several readers have made this very same comment to me, Judie. It's such a beautiful song, and played so often, that I think we tend to absorb it emotionally rather than actually listen to it. That's the case with so many great songs, isn't it? Like you, I had heard it countless times yet never noticed that snippet of lyrics until one day, eight or ten years ago, as I stood in New Orleans' Saint Louis Square, doing nothing more than looking around me and feeling lucky to be there, a street musician started to sing this quintessential Armstrong classic. What a moment! So I just stood still and really listened—LISTENED--to that song for the very first time. And when I heard “the bright blessed day and the dark sacred night,” I felt a surprised delight at how new those words felt, though they were nestled in a song I thought I knew well. As a word lover, I began to think about the difference between "blessed" and "sacred"—the things we cherish openly versus those we honor more privately. And it also occurred to me that “The Dark Sacred Night” would be a great book title. I tend to struggle with titles, and two of my books went through numerous title changes very close to their being set in type.

When I started this new novel, with its juxtapositions of love and fear, trust and secrecy, fate and fortune, I knew this would be the right title. And as I wrote the scene in which Fenno and Walter meet their couples counselor, the image of day and night as present and past struck me viscerally. That's when I decided to make the title “And the Dark Sacred Night.” Because it's about coming to terms with the past as an inextricable “partner” to the present.
Julia Glass
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