Not since Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient have I read a novel in which a character—the story and skinsong of Alamayou—has haunted language, history, and heart so intensely. If you read one novel this year, let it be The Night Language. It is still possible for a reader’s heart to be broken back open.
— Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Book of Joan, The Small Backs of Children, and The Chronology of Water

The Night Language

by david rocklin

The Night Language tells the story of a young man, Prince Alamayou of Abyssinia (present day Ethiopia), who is taken from his home and the Abyssinian war to the court of Queen Victoria—a world he knows nothing about. 

With him is Philip Layard, a young apprentice to one of the doctors on the battlefield in Abyssinia, who becomes Alamayou's guardian, only friend, and eventually, the love of his life. When Parliament accuses Alamayou of murder, the young prince is sentenced to return to Abyssinia, where he will be executed.

His only hope comes from the very thing that cannot be uttered: the unexpected and forbidden love between Alamayou and Philip. 

Inspired by the true events, The Night Language is a unique novel of love, loss, and the consequences of repressive societies. 


Rare Bird Books, A Vireo Book
Paperback, November 14 2017: ISBN: 978-1-945572-48-7
US $15.95 | Fiction

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David Rocklin is the author of The Luminist and the founder/curator of Roar Shack, a monthly reading series in Los Angeles. He was born and raised in Chicago and now lives in LA with his wife, daughters and a 150 lb Great Dane who seriously needs to stay on his own bed. He’s currently at work on his next novel, The Electric Love Song of Fleischl Berger



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