In 2016 Samantha Harvey began to lose sleep (as if sleep were a finite substance, like the contents of a bottle spilling onto the floor, irretrievable). This book is the record of her confession and her fear. It’s astounding and otherwise uncategorizable: “Not really essays. Not essays at all. Some things.” This is a book to read if you've been losing sleep. -KB
This genre-defying debut memoir by Betty Trask Prize winner, Samantha Harvey, weaves a tapestry of confessional anguish, flash fiction, cathartic poetry, and feverish observations on politics and psychology in a transcendent search for reality and truth.
The Shapeless Unease is Harvey’s darkly funny and deeply intelligent anatomy of her insomnia, an immersive interior monologue of a year without one of the most basic human needs. Original and profound, and narrated with a lucid breathlessness, this is a startlingly insightful exploration of memory, writing and influence, death and the will to survive, from “this generation’s Virginia Woolf” (Telegraph).