We are delighted to be welcoming in the Bookshop one of the leading voices of contemporary French literature, Marie Darrieussecq. Join us to celebrate the publication of _Sleepless_, a graceful, inventive meditation on insomnia, ranging between autobiography, clinical observation and criticism.
Plagued by insomnia for twenty years, Marie Darrieussecq turns her attention to the causes, implications and consequences of sleeplessness: a nocturnal suffering that culminates at 4 a.m. and then defines the next day.
In _Sleepless_, she recounts her own experiences alongside those of fellow insomniacs, mostly writers - 'as if writing were not sleeping' - Ovid, Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, Marguerite Duras, Franz Kafka, Georges Perec and others. With her inimitable humour, she describes her dealings with a somnologist and her attempts to find a remedy - trying sleeping pills, cannabis, alcohol, bedtime rituals, acupuncture, yoga, hypnosis, psychoanalysis, a gravity blanket and a range of sleep-aid devices. Darrieussecq considers bedrooms, beds, clinophilia ('the tendency to remain in a prone position without sleeping for prolonged periods of time'), her need to be alone in bed, those without beds, the homeless, refugees, trauma and capitalism's role in sleeplessness, our constant wakefulness online, the forest as a hypnagogic zone and how our relationship with animals is connected to our sleep, or lack of it.
Marie Darrieussecq was born in Bayonne in 1969 and is recognized as one of the most daring, inventive novelists writing today. Her first novel, _Pig Tales_, was translated into thirty-five languages. She has written more than twenty books. In 2013 Marie Darrieussecq was awarded the Prix Medicis and the Prix des Prix for her novel _Men_. She has written art criticism and journalism for a number of publications, including _Liberation_ and _Charlie Hebdo_, and is also a translator from English and has practised as a psychoanalyst.
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