Talk in Montclair
Sleepless: A Memoir of Insomnia
A Conversation With Marie Darrieussecq

Moderated by Violaine Huisman

Saturday, April 6, 2024
Followed by a Q&A, book signing and wine & food reception
Cinema 505

In English

FIAF Montclair is thrilled to welcome French author Marie Darrieussecq for the US release of her newly translated book Sleepless: A Memoir of Insomnia (Pas dormir, trans. by Penny Hueston, 2023), a restless inquiry into the cultural and psychic sources of insomnia by one of contemporary French literature’s most elegant voices.

Plagued by insomnia for twenty years, Marie Darrieussecq turns her attention to the causes, implications, and consequences of sleeplessness. Prevented from falling asleep by her dread of exhaustion the next day, Darrieussecq turns to hypnosis, psychoanalysis, alcohol, pills, and meditation. Her entrapment within this spiraling anguish prompts her inspired, ingenious search across literature, geopolitical history, psychoanalysis, and her own experience to better understand where insomnia comes from and what it might mean. Ranging between autobiography, clinical observation, and criticism, Sleepless is a graceful, inventive meditation by one of the most daring novelists writing today.

Author and FIAF Cultural Director, Violaine Huisman, will lead the conversation with Marie Darrieussecq. The talk will be followed by a book signing and reception where wine, cheese, charcuterie and desserts will be served.

This event is presented in partnership with Villa Albertine and Watchung Booksellers.

Marie Darrieussecq

Marie Darrieussecq is a leading voice in contemporary French literature. Her first novel, Pig Tales, was a finalist for France’s prestigious Prix Goncourt in 1996 and became an international bestseller.

Her 2013 novel Men: A Novel of Cinema and Desire received the Prix Médicis, and her luminous, voluptuous portrait of the artist Paula Modersohn-Becker, Being Here Is Everything, was published in English by Semiotext(e) in 2017. Darrieussecq has also worked as a translator and a psychoanalyst. She splits her time between Paris and the Basque Country. Her latest novel, Fabriquer une femme, (P.O.L, 2024) has enjoyed great critical success.

Violaine Huisman

Violaine Huisman was born in Paris in 1979 and has lived and worked in New York for twenty years, where she ran the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s literary series and also organized multidisciplinary arts festivals across the city.

Originally published by Gallimard under the title Fugitive parce que reine, her debut novel The Book of Mother (Simon & Schuster) was awarded multiple literary prizes including the Prix Françoise Sagan and the Prix Marie Claire. In August of 2023, Huisman accepted the position of Cultural Director for the French Institute Alliance Français, FIAF, a 125-year-old NYC based French arts, cultural and language institution. Her most recent novel, Les Monuments de Paris, was published by Gallimard in France (January 2024).