Thursday, January 3, 2019

Top ten books about insomnia

Marina Benjamin is the author of four memoirs: Rocket Dreams, short-listed for the Eugene Emme Award; Last Days in Babylon, long-listed for the Wingate Prize; The Middlepause, finalist for the Arts Foundation’s Creative Nonfiction Award; and Insomnia.

One of ten top books about insomnia Benjamin tagged at the Guardian:
Awakenings by Oliver Sacks

In 1917, a strange epidemic of sleep sickness swept the globe, causing thousands of people to collapse with raging fevers and wild hallucinations before falling into spells of extended sleep. Sacks worked with survivors of this epidemic 40 years later, after neurologists found that administering the drug levodopa could jolt the long-slumbering victims into periods of manic wakefulness. Some of them turned from real-life Rip Van Winkles into insomniacs, becoming enervated and hyper-alert, overly loquacious, overly familiar and, in one case, messianic.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Also see John Mullan's list of ten of the best bouts of insomnia in literature and Sara Jonsson's five top books for the insomniac.

--Marshal Zeringue