Night Soil is a remarkably layered and nuanced novel that explores many themes simultaneously—the relationship between a single mother and her son, the repercussions of slavery and racism in America, the abuse of our natural environment, the search for a paternal role model—all through the life of a singularly unique gay character. These seemingly disparate themes solidify into a striking portrait of America’s uneasy history. Creating such a multifaceted narrative is a difficult task to pull off convincingly, but Peck has done it with nuance and authenticity.
This elegantly written sucker punch of a novel from Peck ... contemplates the existential dilemma at the core of civilization: 'Persevere despite the absence of hope, or give up and forfeit what it means to be human.' Peck’s moving, precisely rendered prose binds the reader to Judas with a knot tied so tightly that the character and the novel are impossible to forget.
A lush, provocative, and thought-provoking story of queer identity at the intersection of art, family history, capitalism, and the American racial order ... In juxtaposing pristine paeans to nature with...nauseating scenes, Peck creates a sense of how thin the line between beauty and depravity is. A compelling novel about queer identity and the sins that continue to haunt the American project.