Paul Monette's autobiography - Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story, a searingly honest account of growing up gay in America - won the 1992 National Book Award for Nonfiction. In the year and a half since, even as he battles full-blown AIDS, he has been writing essays on a variety of subjects. A portrait of his dog, as they endure together the losses of friends and then the ravages of the author's own illness. An atheist's appreciation of the saintliness of priests. A meditation on a lifetime of travel that is also an inquiry into the meaning of time. The 1993 March on Washington and what it means to be gay and lesbian now, in a time of rising bigotry and intolerance. Monette excoriates with Swiftian vigor the do-nothing politicians, so-called Christians, and halfhearted journalists. Throughout, as a kind of counterpoint, he examines the medical and emotional landscape of his illness, with references to the Classical world and the genius of English poetry. He is by turns philosophical, humorous, self-critical. With Borrowed Time and Becoming a Man, these essays constitute the third volume of Paul Monette's autobiographical writing. Freewheeling and yet focused, brimming with outrage and yet tender, Last Watch of the Night represents a profound personal reconciliation but also a testament to the struggle for freedom of all gay and lesbian people.