Madeleine Is Sleeping: A Novel (Paperback)

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A National Book Award Finalist, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum's enchanting and inventive first novel is a groundbreaking, contemporary classic

When a girl falls into a mysterious, impenetrable sleep, the borders between her provincial French village and the peculiar, beguiling realm of her dreams begin to disappear: A fat woman sprouts delicate wings and takes flight; a failed photographer stumbles into the role of pornographer; a beautiful young wife grows to resemble her husband's viol. Madeleine, the dreamer, travels in their midst, trying to make sense of her own metamorphosis. She leaves home, joins a gypsy circus, and falls into an unexpected triangle of desire and love.
Embracing the earthy and the ethereal, the comical and the poignant, Madeleine Is Sleeping is part fairy tale, part coming-of-age story, and above all, an adventure in the discovery of art, sexuality, community, and the self.

About the Author

Sarah Shun-lien Bynum is the author of the novels Ms. Hempel Chronicles, a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award; and Madeleine Is Sleeping, a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize. Her fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including the New Yorker, Ploughshares, Tin House, The Best American Short Stories, and the O. Henry Prize Stories. The recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and an NEA Fellowship, she was named one of “20 Under 40” fiction writers by the New Yorker. She lives in Los Angeles.

Praise For…

"A small, enchanting novel that appeals to the naughty, insolent child in each of us." —USA Today

"Luminous and daring . . Each delicious chapter – usually a page or less – is like a half-remembered episode from the depths of sleep, as indelible as it is fleeting. Story lines emerge, become entangled and then fade into the ether. And just when we think this oddball narrative is about to rise to the surface of wakefulness, we’re plunged once again into blissful doubt. The effect is haunting." —Los Angeles Times

"Audacious . . . extravagantly imagined . . . the novel is lovely." —The New York Times

"Almost every page offers something original, and no one will close “Madeleine Is Sleeping” without rediscovering how profound – and profoundly strange – adolescence is." —People

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250781338
ISBN-10: 1250781337
Publisher: Picador
Publication Date: October 27th, 2020
Pages: 272
Language: English