Monday, July 12, 2010

Wide Awake: A Memoir of Insomnia (2010)

by Patricia Morrisroe

This appears to be an important book about insomnia.
Robert Pinsky, a past U.S. Poet Laureate, in a brilliant review in the NY Times, wrote: "A corollary to the mysteries of sleep are the mysteries of insomnia. Some people have trouble getting to sleep. Others, like Patricia Morrisroe, as she tells us in “Wide Awake,” have trouble staying asleep. Some people, when deprived of sleep, have hallucinations, or they collapse. Others do relatively well. Nor is insomnia the only problem. According to Morrisroe, “The International Classification of Sleep Disorders” recognizes more than 80 categories, including hypersomnia, narcolepsy, various breathing-related sleep disorders, REM behavior disorder, night terrors, painful erections and _circadian-rhythm sleep disorder.

Morrisroe shapes this material as a personal narrative of her quest for better sleep, an odyssey of encounters with various drug researchers and dispensers, psychotherapists and mystics and conference-goers, as well as a range of savants, bullies, discoverers, profiteers, innovators and at least one sage. The first-person character she brings to this quest isn't ironically brooding or darkly extravagant, nor severely pedagogical."