Physical distancing, pandemic politics and a looming financial crash. It sounds contemporary, but it is also the world that novelist and poet Edith Wharton found herself in writing and living through the 1920s and 1930s. New Zealand novelist Phillipa Swann's new book The Night of All Souls is an exploration of Wharton's life told through her own eyes. Once in the afterlife Edith is summoned to a room filled with people from her life and instructed to read aloud her unpublished memoir. While this Philippa's first novel, she has been writing for decades for books and magazines and her original training was as a landscape gardener.