Madeleine Is Sleeping

Madeleine Is Sleeping

3.5 (1,157 ratings by Goodreads)
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When a girl falls into a deep and 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. And in their midst travels Madeleine, the dreamer, who is trying to make sense of her own metamorphosis as she leaves home, joins a gypsy circus, and falls into an unexpected triangle of desire and love.
An extraordinary debut, Madeleine Is Sleeping received jubilant critical acclaim and was honored with a National Book Award nomination. Part fairy tale, part coming-of-age story, this "dream of a book" (Michael Cunningham) is an adventure in the discovery of art, sexuality, community, and the self.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 259 pages
  • 134.6 x 200.7 x 20.3mm | 249.48g
  • United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0156032279
  • 9780156032278
  • 567,358

Back cover copy

"A haunting, genre-breaking novel with all the narrative energy of a mystery yet all the careful lyricism of a prose poem."--ZZ Packer, author of "Drinking Coffee Elsewhere"
Part fairy tale, part coming-of-age story, this enchanting novel follows the dreams of a girl who has fallen mysteriously into a deep, impenetrable sleep. The fantastic mingles with the real as the dreaming Madeleine leaves home, joins a gypsy circus, and stumbles into an unexpected triangle of desire, in this richly imagined adventure that transcends time and place.
"Bynum makes readers question the extent to which we may be sleepwalking through our lives. And she asks us to discover what our own dreams can teach us. The result is a small, enchanting novel that appeals to the naughty, insolent child in each of us."--"USA Today"
"The tale-telling is delicate, grave and almost evanescent . . . A voice at once sensuous and humorous, mellifluous and matter-of-fact."--"The Washington Post Book World"
"Luminous and daring."--"Los Angeles Times"
"Bynum's lush, poetic imagery is full of vivid, sensuous details one can almost smell, taste, and feel . . . Achingly human and poignantly telling."--"The Boston Globe"
"Audacious . . . extravagantly imagined . . . the novel is lovely."--"The New York Times"
Sarah Shun-lien Bynum's fiction has appeared in the "Georgia Review," "TriQuarterly," "Alaska Quarterly Review," and the "Best American Short Stories 2004." She lives with her husband and daughter in Los Angeles, and teaches at the University of California, San Diego. "Madeleine Is"
"Sleeping" is her first novel.
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Review quote

"Bynum's boldly original first novel is an allegory of adolescence...every page offers something original."
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Rating details

1,157 ratings
3.5 out of 5 stars
5 24% (272)
4 31% (364)
3 24% (279)
2 13% (155)
1 8% (87)
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