Snakebites are more common in the summer. So are a whole host of unpleasant things like heatstroke, sunburn, shark attacks, and anaphylactic shock. And although I have no evidence to back me up, I believe insomnia is, too. If you find yourself awake at 3 a.m. one night this July, pick up Elizabeth Hardwick’s Sleepless Nights. Hardwick defies genre in this lyric memoir/novel, championing the sentence above all else. In writing of an encounter with Billie Holiday, she suggests, “Somehow she had retrieved from darkness the miracle of pure style. ” NYRB Classics did us all a favor when they resurrected Sleepless Nights from the out-of-print graveyard in 2001.
Bio: Erica Wright is the poetry editor at Guernica. Her “interview with John Ashbery”:http://www.guernicamag.com/interviews/507/houses_at_night_1/, Houses at Night, appeared in Guernica‘s February 2008 issue.