Friday, 27 November 2009

Sleepless nights (Hardwick) 41

I was pleased to be offered a lend of one of Simon's recent purchases Sleepless nights by Elizabeth Hardwick because at the time I was suffering from dreadful insomnia! Unfortunately I was sleeping better by the time that I started reading it as it would have been a good cure for insomnia. I struggled to get into it.

The book was essential a series of reflections on a woman's life. I think this quote which I took from library thing sums up how I felt:

"Sleepless Nights feels as if someone had written the most vivid and witty of diaries for several decades, then ripped out all the pages and tossed them into the air. The reader wanders into this experiment in Dada with Hardwick, picking up a moment here, an encounter there, trying to make meaning out of seemingly random conjunctions."

I'm intrigued by the title of one of her other books The Ghostly Lover, but I have to say I won't be rushing to read it.

Two Virago editions of this work - Simon lent me the earlier one.


  1. I managed to scoop the Ghostly Lover at a second hand bookstore this summer. Not in a Virago edition though. I haven't been in any rush to read it and after your comments about this Hardwick I think I'll wait for your review.

  2. Mrs B - the title Ghostly lover sounds as if it has a bit more potential. But then I thought Sleepless nights was a good title!

  3. I'm sorry to say this book defeated me. I read it for a bookclub, though actually I gave up on it. I think it was a matter of timing partially. I had a hard time connecting with it because of the structure of her writing, though others in the group loved it! Both covers are great--at the time I borrowed a copy from the library. I had no idea this was a Virago, though am not surprised!

  4. Hi. just came across your blog and it reminded me of the excitement of going to the Virago book shop in London many years ago when the press was brand new and how it felt to find real wonderful books by women.
    thanks for sharing and inspiring
    much love martine

  5. Danielle - I admit, it was a struggle to get through this one.

    Hi Martine - thanks for stopping by - I hope you'll keep an eye on all things VMC on this blog! How wonderful to go to the Virago book shop; I think it is such an influential imprint and that must have been amazing.