Samantha Harvey and Tessa Hadley: The Shapeless Unease

The writer Samantha Harvey has won wide acclaim and a devoted following for her novels, most recently The Western Wind, set in mediavel Somerset. In her latest book The Shapeless Unease: A Year of Not Sleeping (Cape) she turns to philosophical memoir, with an account of a bout of insomnia that afflicted her from out of the blue, and led her to re-examine many of her assumptions about life, about writing, and about the human mind.

She was in conversation about her work with novelist Tessa Hadley, who has described The Shapeless Unease as ‘gritty with particulars, concrete and substantial even when it is most philosophical and far-reaching … What a beautiful book.’

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