Originally published in 1942 to rave reviews and astonishing commercial success, Night Shift dramatizes the working class life of the Midwest during World War II with the excitement of melodrama, the vividness of documentary, and the page-turning quality of the best commercial fiction.
Sally Otis works herself to the bone as a waitress, supporting her three children and a jobless younger sister. With her bills mounting and no rest in sight, Sally's resolve is beginning to crumble when her swaggering older sister, Petey Braun, appears on the scene. Petey, with her furs and jewels and exotic trips, is an American career woman—one who makes a career of men. But when Petey gets a gig at the glamorous, rowdy local nightclub, it will forever alter the world of the struggling Otis family.
Night Shift “manages to be touching and horrible, sentimental and brutal all at the same time. It is both sordidly real and theatrically melodramatic. It’s good” (New York Times).
Maritta Wolff was born in 1918 in Michigan. Whistle Stop, her first novel, won the Avery Hopwood Award in 1940. A runaway bestseller, the book was also printed as a special Armed Forces edition for American troops during World War II. Whistle Stop was made into a feature film in 1946, starring Ava Gardner. In the next two decades, Ms. Wolff authored more than five novels, but she hid her final, unpublished manuscript in her refrigerator until her death in 2002. Rediscovered, that novel, Sudden Rain, is available from Scribner.
"Touching and horrible, sentimental and brutal all at the same time . . . It's good." -- The New York Times
"Night Shift is a solid and impressive novel, engrossing and continuously entertaining, bursting with the sounds and smells, drama and emotion of American life in a small Michigan factory city." -- Orville Prescott, The New York Times
"With Night Shift [Wolff ] promises to become a major novelist, an important and exciting one." -- Sinclair Lewis
"A realistic photographer and . . . narrator of tense, violent action . . . I think you'd better keep an eye on Miss Wolff." -- Clifton Fadiman, The New Yorker