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.
In 2016, Samantha Harvey began to lose sleep. She tried everything to appease her wakefulness: from medication to therapy, changes in her diet to changes in her living arrangements. Nothing seemed to help.
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).
“This book felt enormous to me, mercurial, devastating, seeming to grapple with the nature of everything in a manner so compelling it is impossible not to be swept along. A book to return to again and again.” — Daisy Johnson, author of Booker Prize-nominated Everything Under
“[M]asterful and captivating... At once intensely personal and universal ” – Booklist
"[A]n unmissable memoir of the restless depths of insomnia, and a lyrical new insight into the very essence of our lives." — Foyles