With her new memoir Insomnia, Marina Benjamin has produced an unsettling account of an unsettling condition that treats our inability to sleep not as a disorder, but as an existential experience that can electrify our understanding of ourselves, and of creativity and love.
Insomnia is a bravura piece of writing. At once philosophical and poetical, the book ranges widely over history and culture, literature and art, exploring a threshold experience that is intimately involved with trespass and contamination: the illicit importing of day into night. With Insomnia, Benjamin aims to light up the workings of our inner minds, delivering a startlingly fresh look at what it means to be wakeful in the dark.
Marina Benjamin is a writer and editor. Her most recent books are The Middlepause, Rocket Dreams, shortlisted for the Eugene Emme Award, and Last Days in Babylon, longlisted for the Wingate Prize. As a journalist, she's written for most of the British broadsheets and served as arts editor at the New Statesman and deputy arts editor at the Evening Standard. She is currently a senior editor at the digital magazine Aeon.
Colin Grant is an author whose books include A Smell of Burning: A Memoir of Epilepsy, Bageye at the Wheel: A 1970s Childhood in Suburbia, and Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey and His Dream of Mother Africa. He is also a historian, Associate Fellow in the Centre for Caribbean Studies, and a BBC radio producer.