Sleepless: An Evening with Marie Darrieussecq and Colm Tóibín

“Marie Darrieussecq invites us on an extended patrol of the corridors of Hotel Insomnia in the company of the ghosts of the famous sleep-deprived, then turns to the story of her own intimate tussle with sleep that will not come. Amid the torrent of publications in the new sleep science, this is the only book I know that concedes to sleep its proper majesty and its own dark poetry.” — J. M. Coetzee

On Wednesday, April 10, at 6pm, join Marie Darrieussecq and Colm Tóibín as they discuss Darrieussecq’s restless inquiry into the cultural and psychic sources of insomnia.

Plagued by insomnia for twenty years, Marie Darrieussecq studies, in her book Sleepless: A Memoir of Insomnia (trans. by Penny Hueston, Semiotext(e), 2023), the causes, implications and consequences of sleeplessness. Inspired by her personal experience, Darrieussecq also turns to literature, geopolitical history, and psychoanalysis to better understand where insomnia comes from and what it might mean. Raging between autobiography, clinical observation, and criticism, Sleepless is a graceful, inventive meditation by one of the most daring, inventive novelists writing today.

The conversation will be in English. This event is free with RSVP. Click here for tickets.

This event is co-organized with Villa Albertine and is a part the Authors on Tour programMarie Darrieussecq’s 2024 US tour is made possible by Villa Albertine, University of Cincinnati, and Brown University.

MARIE DARRIEUSSECQ is one of the leading voices in contemporary French literature. Her first novel, Pig Tales (trans. by Linda Coverdale, The New Press, 1998), was a finalist for France’s prestigious Prix Goncourt in 1996 and became an international bestseller. In 2013, she received the Prix Medicis for her novel Men: A Novel of Cinema and Desire (trans. by Penny Hueston, Semiotext(e), 2016). Marie Darrieussecq has also worked as a translator and psychoanalyst. In 2022, she was a resident at Villa Albertine.

COLM TÓIBÍN’s novels include The Master (Scribner, 2005) and Brooklyn (Scribner, 2015). He is Mellon Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University.

Photos credits: © Charles Freger-POL / © Reynaldo Rivera