Monday 13 July 2020

Sleepless Nights

Finished July 7
Sleepless Nights by Elizabeth Hardwick

I was drawn to the title and I knew the reputation of the author. When I picked it up and read the introduction though, I felt it to be imposing. No worries though as it was much more relatable than the introduction led it to be. I felt the introduction to be very academic and off-putting, not what I've seen in other NYRB books that I've read.
This novel was partially based on Hardwick's own experiences, and her own observations of those experiences. It is not a linear book, but its rambling nature felt very natural and wasn't confusing as each section dealt with a particular experience or time in her life. It felt very open and self-aware, but of course she wrote it looking back not in the moment. She met a lot of interesting people who came from a variety of life experiences themselves and brought that to whatever relationship she had with them. She doesn't judge, she just observes. And her writing is absolutely beautiful. It is written in a very approachable way, yet one must stop reading and consider things from time to time as many of the situations described ask for that depth of examination.
A lovely little book.

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