Sleepless Night

Sleepless Night

Written by: de Moor, Margriet
Translated by: Doherty, David

In this short, beautifully written novel, the grande dame of Dutch literature recounts a story of romance and death while performing a midnight baking ritual.

A woman gets up in the middle of a wintry night and starts baking a Bundt cake while her lover sleeps upstairs. When it’s time for her to take the cake out of the oven, we have consumed a story of romance and death. The narrator was widowed years before and is trying to find new passion. But the memory of her deceased husband and a shameful incident holds her in its grasp. Why did he do it?

Margriet de Moor tells a gripping love story about endings and demise, rage and jealousy, knowledge and ambiguity — and the possibility of new beginnings.

In this short, beautifully written novel, the grande dame of Dutch literature recounts a story of romance and death while performing a midnight baking ritual.

A woman gets up in the middle of a wintry night and starts baking a Bundt cake while her lover sleeps upstairs. When it’s time for her to take the cake out of the oven, we have consumed a story of romance and death. The narrator was widowed years before and is trying to find new passion. But the memory of her deceased husband and a shameful incident holds her in its grasp. Why did he do it?

Margriet de Moor tells a gripping love story about endings and demise, rage and jealousy, knowledge and ambiguity — and the possibility of new beginnings.

Published By House of Anansi Press Inc - May 7, 2019
Specifications pages | 5.25 in x 8 in

PRAISE FOR MARGRIET DE MOOR AND SLEEPLESS NIGHT:

A Library Journal Best Book of 2019

“Quiet, unrushed, yet deeply penetrating prose … An extraordinary accomplishment.” — Library Journal

“The mystery … seems to deepen with every clue. Sleepless Night is a novel for the floating world we live in now, a novel that ends endings, happy or otherwise.” — Woven Tale Press

“Sleepless Night is told through a successful framing device: our nameless protagonist often finds herself troubled into restless insomnia and so, when this occurs, she pops into the kitchen and spends the rest of the dark night baking … What this affecting story leaves us with, upon its closure, is the nervous unease that life doesn’t care about us.” — Books and Bao

“Short, abrupt, and thought-provoking.” — I’ve Read This

“A taut narrative. Tense and concise.” — Buried in Print

“This sort of small (but abyss-deep) tale depends very much on the telling, and de Moor does a very fine job … Sleepless Night is both melancholy and hopeful (but nowhere near cloyingly so), and doesn't force too many answers; love and loss remain mysteries — but ultimately quite satisfyingly so.” — Complete Review

“The questions of love, marriage, and mortality come to life in Margriet de Moor’s poignant novel Sleepless Night … Clever foreshadowing and ingeniously placed clues create suspense … Delivers insightful ruminations on marriage, love, love lost, and the unsolved mysteries lurking underneath the surface of everyday lives … Sleepless Night is a meditative novel where the seemingly mundane reveals itself to be the harbinger of profound insights.” — Foreword Reviews

“Compact, haunting, and lovely … it is unhurried and assured; no word is wasted … In both its rich and unapologetic descriptions of domesticity and frank attitude toward sex … the book is a treatise on one individual’s womanhood.” — Kirkus Reviews

“This novel is a subtle, enigmatic, and beautiful elegy to a husband and marriage that ends in tragedy. De Moor’s book is sensual and spare, whether she’s writing about love, a walk in an ice forest, or baking a cake in the middle of the night. There are layers of meaning here, which with adroit subtlety de Moor lets the reader puzzle out for themselves.” — Claire Fuller, author of Swimming Lessons and Bitter Orange

“Fluid and musical … this hypnotic portrayal of an amorous and sensual resurrection gracefully tells of regret over failed encounters and the fragile hope of new beginnings.” — Le Monde

“The charm of Margriet de Moor’s book is due to a combination of sensuality and reflection, as well as a musical language of great beauty that explores the meanderings of the human soul with great clarity.” — Le Figaro

“Carefully narrated, cleverly constructed, and fascinating in its psychological finesse.” — Frankfurter Rundschau

“De Moor’s novel is encased in calm, its surfaces appearing to be safe — until they suddenly crack open like thin ice beneath our feet. A beautiful, mysterious, and shocking book.” — Nancy E. Kline, author of The Faithful and Lightning: The Poetry of René Char

PRAISE FOR MARGRIET DE MOOR AND THE STORM:

“Musical … [De Moor’s] prose is shot through with recurring leitmotifs and song; and her sensitivity to sound and tempo permeates her new novel.” — New York Times Book Review

“A moving dramatization of a historical catastrophe which bears disturbing resemblances to recent global occurrences … It’s hard to resist using the word ‘symphonic’ to describe this exquisitely composed, piercingly moving story. De Moor continues to scale increasingly impressive heights.” — Kirkus Reviews