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Save The Night (Sauver la nuit)

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Original Language: French | 260 pp. | October 2019

2 Seas Represents: Dutch, Nordic and North American rights.

NARRATIVE NON-FICTION

With deft, narrative prose, an expert guards us against the endemic disappearance of the night. Samuel Challéat guides us to reflect and wonder but also to fear what we may be about to lose, as the sociocultural, ecological and public health costs caused by artificial lighting are immeasurable.

“Will we leave ourselves a sky to observe?” Amateur astronomers were already asking the question in the 1960s and the answer we can now provide is far from alluring: the Milky Way is no longer visible for more than a third of humanity and 83% of the world’s population lives under a sky marred by night pollution.

“Save the Night!” each day, the cry to arms grows more and more pressing. All the more so now that we are suffering the negative effects of artificial light on the environment (biodiversity erosion) and health (body clock disturbance, melatonin’s contribution to cancer development, and many more).

Often taken for granted, the night has become a luxurious rarity that could potentially even be monetized, like drinkable water or clean air.

In this honest, surprising, and detailed-oriented guide to the night, Samuel Challéat puts under the microscope the emergence of this need for obscurity that has now become political and economic, concurrent with urban development – and answers to the question how can we “save the night”, for the good for all?