The Watch

Publisher: Vintage Canada

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.


"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)