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About the book
  • Published: 9 January 2020
  • ISBN: 9781787332027
  • Imprint: Jonathan Cape
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $27.99

The Shapeless Unease

A Year of Not Sleeping




A poignant, urgent memoir about insomnia; the non-fiction debut by one of our finest novelists

Sleep. Sleep. Like money, you only think about it when you have too little. Then you think about it all the time, and the less you have the more you think about it. It becomes the prism through which you see the world and nothing can exist except in relation to it.
Samantha Harvey’s insomnia arrived, seemingly, from nowhere; for a year she has spent her nights chasing sleep that rarely comes. She’s tried everything to appease it. Nothing is helping.

What happens when one of the basic human needs goes unmet? For Samantha Harvey, extreme sleep deprivation resulted in a raw clarity about life itself. Original and profound, The Shapeless Unease is a startlingly insightful exploration of memory, writing and influence, death and grief, and the will to survive.

  • Pub date: 9 January 2020
  • ISBN: 9781787332027
  • Imprint: Jonathan Cape
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $27.99

About the Author

Samantha Harvey

Samantha Harvey is the author of The Wilderness, All Is Song and Dear Thief. She appeared on the longlists for the Bailey’s Prize and the Man Booker, and the shortlists of the James Tait Black Award, the Orange Prize, and the Guardian First Book Award. The Wilderness won the Betty Trask Award in 2009. She is a tutor on the MA course in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.

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