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Sleepless Nights

Elizabeth Hardwick

Rediscover a lost American classic: Sleepless Nights, a kaleidoscopic scrapbook of one woman’s memories, here reissued with a new introduction by Eimear McBride.

4 in stock

£8.99
Format
Paperback
ISBN
9780571346998
Date Published
04.07.2019
Delivery
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Summary

Sally Rooney: ‘A series of fleeting images and memories … united by the high intelligence and beauty of Hardwick’s prose.’

Rediscover a lost American classic: Sleepless Nights, a kaleidoscopic scrapbook of one woman’s memories, here reissued with a new introduction by Eimear McBride.

I am alone here in New York, no longer a we

First published in 1979, Sleepless Nights is a unique collage of fiction and memoir, letters and essays, portraits and dreams. It is more than the story of a life: it is Elizabeth Hardwick’s experience of womanhood in the twentieth century. Escaping her childhood home of Kentucky, the narrator arrives at a bohemian hotel in Manhattan filled with ‘drunks, actors, gamblers … love and alcohol and clothes on the floor.’ Here begin the erotic affairs and dinner parties, the abortions and heartbreaks, the friendships and ‘people I have buried’. Here are luminous sketches of characters she has met that illuminate the era’s racism, sexism, and poverty. Above all, here is prose blurring into poetry, language to lose – and perhaps to find – yourself in.

Society tries to write these lives before they are lived. It does not always succeed.

Critic Reviews

Sleepless Nights assembles a series of fleeting images and memories united by the high intelligence and beauty of Hardwick’s prose.

Sally Rooney
Critic Reviews

An encounter with a formidable mind …Her empathy, and sympathy, for the harshly endured lives of many of the women her gaze falls upon is without question … Beautifully, humanely, drawn.

Eimear McBride
Critic Reviews

A shattered meditation on a life ... Extraordinary and haunting.

Joan Didion
Critic Reviews

Hardwick’s shimmering melancholia [is] my book of the year. It’s a dream slideshow ... of lasting beauty that guides you through the mysteries, and tragedies of people the narrator has known and loved: the literary equivalent of polished onyx.

James Clarke (The Guardian's Best Books of 2019)
Critic Reviews

Brilliant, brittle and strange, unlike any preconceived notion I had of what a novel could be ... Few new books have felt so revolutionary or so brave.

Lauren Groff
Critic Reviews

A novel of mental weather that enchants by the scrupulousness and zip of the narrative voice, its lithe, semi-staccato descriptions and epigrammatic dash.

Susan Sontag
ElizabethHardwick

Elizabeth Hardwick (1916-2007) was one of the greatest intellectuals of her time. A co-founder of The New York Review of Books, she authored three novels, a biography of Herman Melville, and four collections of essays, as well as contributing more than a hundred pieces to American publications. She was married to the poet Robert Lowell from 1949 to 1972.

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ElizabethHardwick