The debut coming-of-age novel by a celebrated St. John's writer and artist, for fans of Heather O'Neill and Megan Gail Coles.
Growing up in an isolated island town with her siblings and absentee artist parents, Grace has an insatiable need for attention. She looks for it first in her playmates, taking innocent games too far, and then in men, delighting in the power her body has over them, and even while she pursues solace in writing, a predatory teacher's fixation taints the one thing she loves. When she meets Jack, a young painter, she becomes muse and lover at once, and it seems she's finally found the attention she's been seeking.
Fuelled by drugs, lust, and a deep desire for connection, Grace and Jack's turbulent relationship soon turns dark, obsessive, and dangerous. While Jack's star ascends, Grace finds herself disappearing — becoming transparent like the many ghosts that appear to her. Between blackouts and binges, hallucinations and psychotic breaks, Grace begins to wonder whether anyone sees her at all.
An unflinching, unchronological coming-of-age story told through vivid and mesmerizing vignettes, Quiet Time is Grace's story of resilience, bravery, and redemption, as she fights for her voice in a world attempting to silence it. Imbued with folklore, legend, and the supernatural, Harvey's "uncannily transparent" prose (Lisa Moore) and "refreshingly urgent" voice (Joel Thomas Hynes) explores themes of growth, forgiveness, and the pains we must endure to become whole.
About the author
Katherine Alexandra Harvey is the executive director of ReLit, and the founder and editor of ReLit Magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Public Folklore from Memorial University. She has been nominated for the Governor General's History Award, the Carter V. Cooper Short Fiction Award, and the Writer's Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador Fresh Fish Award. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Malahat Review, Exile Quarterly, Quill and Quire, Riddle Fence, The Newfoundland Quarterly, and more. Quiet Time is Harvey's first novel.
"Grace relays piece by piece a full-body experience of love, sex, death, and motherhood. Quiet Time is visceral and addictive."
— Tamara Faith Berger, author of Queen Solomon and Maidenhead
"Katherine's prose is uncannily transparent and clear. The sentences are concise and yet an entire world leaps up fully formed from the first page.....The inner world of this narrator is rendered so convincingly and with such skill, I felt I knew her intimately and from the inside out. She is, by turns, sparking with wisdom and innocent, loving, and emotionally hungry, eerily vulnerable.
— Lisa Moore, award-winning author of This is How We Love and February
"This fearless and often startling book is by turns ominously funny, yet heartrending in its poetic ferocity. KA Harvey has arrived. Quiet Time marks the stunning debut of an exceptional literary talent.
— Joel Thomas Hynes, Governor General's Award – winning author of We'll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night
"Reading Quiet Time is like watching its narrator examine herself in a dropped mirror, the fragmented story shifting and sharp and steeped in superstition. A reflection on beauty and harm and absolution. A glittering mosaic you could cut yourself on.
— Jaime Burnet, Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award — shortlisted author of Crocuses Hatch from Snow