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The Crack Magazine


Sleepless by Marie Darrieussecq

‘Sleepless’ by French writer Marie Darrieussecq, translated by Penny Hueston, is part-memoir, part-critical analysis, part-art exhibition on insomnia. Plagued by twenty years of sleeplessness following the birth of her first child, Darrieussecq explores our culture’s relationship to sleep, and the causes of ­– and supposed cures for – insomnia. She looks at the role of capitalism, politics and our relationships to animals to try to find out why she and others can’t sleep in the hopes that through producing this work, she’ll achieve a night of rest. Every now and then, I like to read something that’s too smart for me. This book is full of references to Kafka, Virginia Woolf and many other writers that I’ve been meaning to read but haven’t. While Darrieussecq’s rampant insomnia is far from aspirational, her intelligence is, and her writing style is so poetic that you’ll understand her ideas even if, like me, you’re struggling to keep up at points. MW

Published by Fitzcarraldo Editions