8 Novels That Feature Sleep Disorders

8 Novels That Feature Sleep Disorders

Sleep: We all need it. You know what it’s like when you haven’t had a good night’s sleep. These 8 novels feature sleep disorders including sleep deprivation, insomnia, and sleepwalking.

1. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendia family. Inventive, amusing, magnetic, sad, and alive with unforgettable men and women—brimming with truth, compassion, and a lyrical magic that strikes the soul—this novel is a masterpiece in the art of fiction.”

2. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

“First published serially between 1859 and 1860, The Woman in White is Wilkie Collins’s epistolary novel that tells the tale of Walter Hartright, who encounters a woman all dressed in white on a moonlit road in Hampstead. Hartright helps the woman to find her way back to London. The woman warns him against an unnamed baronet and after they part he discovers that she may have escaped from an insane asylum. Hartright travels to Cumberland where he takes up a position as the art tutor of Laura Fairlie and her devoted half-sister, Marian Halcombe, who are somehow entangled with this mysterious ‘woman in white’.”

3. The Sun King by Allison Lee Palmer

“A mother, her son, and mania. In this fictionalized memoir, a mother recounts the emotional journey she and her son take when he becomes mentally ill. Jack is known as the Sun King because as a child he resembled the illustrated boy in his mother’s deck of tarot cards. Already on the verge of madness, Jack leaves for college in Ohio but secretly decides not to take his medicine. When Jack becomes manic, his mother must retrieve him from a psychiatric hospital and bring him home to Oklahoma. She and Jack spend the next year dealing with court hearings, doctor appointments, and counseling sessions precipitated by his bipolar disorder and resultant psychosis. Guiding Jack back to sanity leads his mother to a fateful decision—one that brings about her own emotional unraveling. In the end, it is the Sun King who must save his mother.”

4. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

“First published in the year 1892, the present book The Yellow Wallpaper by American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman is regarded as an important early work of American feminist literature, illustrating attitudes in the 19th century toward women’s health, both physical and mental.”

5. Sleep by Nino Ricci

“From multi-award winning author Nino Ricci comes a novel of devastating emotional power and intelligence, and often breathless suspense: the story of one man’s descent into sleeplessness.”

6. The House of Sleep by Jonathan Coe

“Like a surreal and highly caffeinated version of The Big Chill, Jonathan Coe’s new novel follows four students who knew each other in college in the eighties. Sarah is a narcoleptic who has dreams so vivid she mistakes them for real events. Robert has his life changed forever by the misunderstandings that arise from her condition. Terry spends his wakeful nights fueling his obsession with movies. And an increasingly unstable doctor, Gregory, sees sleep as a life-shortening disease which he must eradicate.”

7. The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian

“Conjuring the strange and mysterious world of parasomnia, a place somewhere between dreaming and wakefulness, The Sleepwalker is a masterful novel from one of our most treasured storytellers.”

8. Stay Awake: Stories by Dan Chaon

“These haunting, suspenseful stories by acclaimed author Dan Chaon feature scattered families, unfulfilled dreamers, anxious souls—lost, fragile, searching characters who wander between ordinary life and a psychological shadowland. They have experienced intense love or loss, grief or loneliness, displacement or disconnection—and exist in a twilight realm, in a place by the window late at night when the streets are empty and the world appears to be quiet. But it is not, and neither are you. And since you cannot sleep, you stay awake.”

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