Shakespeare and Company

🛏️On Not Sleeping, with Marie Darrieussecq🛏️

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Episode notes

This week, Adam was joined in the writer’s studio by Marie Darrieussecq, whose latest book Sleepless (translated by Penny Hueston and published by Fitzcarraldo) is one writer’s attempt to describe, understand, and perhaps overcome her insomnia. The passages in Sleepless that take us into the mind of the insomniac are somewhat like the experience of insomnia itself— at times fragmented and hynopgogic, at others dazzlingly alert and perceptive—while those that investigate the potential cures are captivating in their detail, description and weirdness. For those whose lives have never been blighted by insomnia, Sleepless will be a fascinating insight into this strangest and most psychologically traumatic of conditions, while those who have suffered it will find in these pages solidarity and solace.

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Marie Darrieussecq was born in Bayonne in 1969 and is recognized as one of the leading voices of contemporary French literature. Her first novel, Pig Tales, was translated into thirty-five languages. She has written more than twenty books. Text has published Tom Is Dead, All the Way, Men, Being Here: The Life of Paula Modersohn-Becker, Our Life in the Forest, The Baby and Crossed Lines. In 2013 Marie Darrieussecq was awarded the Prix Médicis and the Prix des Prix for her novel Men. She has written art criticism and journalism for a number of publications, including Libération and Charlie Hebdo, and is also a translator from English and has practised as a psychoanalyst. She lives in Paris.

Adam Biles is Literary Director at Shakespeare and Company. His latest novel, Beasts of England, a sequel of sorts to Animal Farm, is available now. Buy a signed copy here:

Listen to Alex Freiman’s latest EP, In The Beginning:

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