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Books

It’s not the dark hours the insomniac dreads but the clear light of day

15 February 2020

9:00 AM

15 February 2020

9:00 AM

The Shapeless Unease: A Year of Not Sleeping Samantha Harvey

Cape, pp.176, £12.99

The insomniac may come to dread the night’s solitude, but the next day poses the greater challenge. That’s when you are obliged to walk among the rested population and pass for one of them, when in truth most interactions are conducted in a state of self-doubting confusion; when harnessing one’s thoughts is like grabbing at shadows; the right words, if found, won’t cohere into fluent sentences; and dark intrusions from the subconscious flicker up and distract from whichever simple task you’re attempting to complete.

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