Synopses & Reviews
Night, inhospitable and dangerous, tantalizes the imagination. Rarely are we awake to see it through. This fascinating collection of voices from the graveyard shift shows us who is out there in the dark while the rest of us sleep.
In Up All Night a baker, a nude dancer, a flower market wholesaler, a longshoreman, a newspaper distributor, a shelter worker, a zookeeper, and sixteen other night workers candidly share personal histories. Their stories about night work and about their lives during the daylight hours are often funny, often poignant. Some work at night by choice to earn higher wages or to avoid bosses. For others, such as recent immigrants or parents with day-working spouses, their only option may be the midnight shift.
Author and night owl Martha Gies guides readers on a nocturnal tour of unique workplaces the waiting ambulances that encircle the darkened city, the maze of conveyor belts at the industrial bakery, the Internet service provider's help desk. She visits and vividly describes the cold, gritty, and isolated settings of night work the truck cab, the silhouetted cubicle, the empty street.
Up All Night gives us a rare insider's look at the unseen workers who keep the city humming after dark.
"[A] stirring collection....[T]his medley of night vignettes offers a rare, intriguing look into the idiosyncratic lives of workers tucked away in the city's dark and often forgotten corners." Publishers Weekly
"On the Skidmore fountain is inscribed: 'Good citizens are the riches of the city.' In Up All Night, Martha Gies brings many of Portland's riches to life in a very intimate way, giving an insight into the reality of the city not seen by us daytime 'normals.' A fascinating spectrum of people, a fascinating read. Once started, I couldn't put it down." Bud Clark, former Mayor of Portland, Oregon
Who is out there in the dark while the rest of us sleep? In Up All Night, Martha Gies profiles two dozen graveyard-shift workers and presents a rare insider's look at the unseen workers who keep our cities humming after dark.
About the Author
Martha Gies lives in Portland, Oregon, the setting for Up All Night. Her stories and essays have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Orion, Zyzzyva, The Sun, and The World Begins Here: An Anthology of Oregon Short Fiction, and she is a recipient of the PEN Syndicated Fiction Award. She teaches creative writing at Lewis & Clark College and the Traveler's Mind Workshop in Veracruz, Mexico.
Table of Contents
I What of the Night? 7
Sativa Dancing Nude 8
Perpetual Adoration at St. Agatha 15
Ships in the Night 21
Rising Star 30
Night Bus 37
II The Chase 43
Night Beat 44
The Legendary Judie Brown 63
III Getting through the Night 71
The Mission at Night 72
Georgia's Blues in the Night 81
Obdulia at the Rose Garden 94
IV While the Weary World Is Sleeping 101
Street Sweeper 102
From Press to Porch 109
Tech Support 116
All-Night Poolroom 123
Truck Stop 129
On the Door at Montage 135
V In Perfect Silence 143
Star Party 144
Awake at the Zoo 151
Mr. Thomas at the Embassy Suites Hotel 161
Nightly Bread 168
Flowers for the City 175