The Night Interns
by Austin Duffy
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Pub Date 4 Aug 2022 | Archive Date 23 Sep 2022
Three surgical interns face the drama, beauty and danger of death on the hospital night shift, in this deeply immersive and provocative novel by the critically acclaimed Irish novelist.
Intravenous lines, catheters, bodies in distress, wounds: three young surgical interns working the night shift must care for - and keep alive - the influx of patients, while frightened and uncertain about what the night will throw at them.
The Night Interns beautifully conjures the alien space of the hospital wards and corridors through the viewpoint of one of the interns, as he comes to terms with the bodily reality of the patients and the bizarre instruments of healing. Equally unsettling for the inexperienced junior staff are the dysfunctional hierarchies of the hospital workplace. Under intense pressure and with very little sleep, the interns become inured to their encounters with sickness, all the while searching for the meaning in their work.
By turns moving, shocking, and darkly funny, The Night Interns fizzes with nervous energy, forensic insight and moral tension, as it evokes life and death on the frontline.
‘Stylish, mordant, and pitch-perfect – I read it in one sitting. If Rachel Cusk or Sally Rooney had been junior doctors they might have come up with something like this’ Gavin Francis
‘The Night Interns is an utterly immersive read. Duffy has managed to capture the claustrophobia, exhaustion and constant pressure of life in a contemporary hospital so effectively I could physically feel the tension on every page. A gripping, honest and incredibly important book’ Jan Carson
‘The Night Interns is a sharp shock of a book, visceral, and acutely affecting’ Lisa McInerney
'With the dark humour and moral seriousness that make Austin Duffy's writing so captivating, The Night Interns brilliantly portrays the excruciating stress of constantly feeling that what is expected of you may well be more than you are capable of achieving’ Carys Davies
‘Entirely gripping, like Squid Games for medical students. The Night Interns exposes a fascinating but terrifying backstage glimpse of an apparently-functioning hospital where the director is a tyrant, the producer is unhinged, and the actors don't know their lines. It is highly unusual that a person who has access to knowledge as specialised as this - the mechanics of life and death - is also gifted with an artist's sensibility. This novel is to be prized on so many levels’ Claire Kilroy