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Book review: “Sleep Donation’’ by Karen Russell

Karen Russell’s “Sleep Donation” follows a woman who solicits gifts of slumber in a world of increasing insomnia.
Karen Russell’s “Sleep Donation” follows a woman who solicits gifts of slumber in a world of increasing insomnia.Michael Lionstar

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How do people go to sleep,” asks a character in Dorothy Parker’s story “The Little Hours.” “I’m afraid I’ve lost the knack.” What a contemporary statement. And this from a story written in 1933 — an era without 24-hour news cycles, ubiquitous Wi-Fi, and widespread coffee addiction. All of which have stoked a monster insomnia epidemic that sweeps through MacArthur winning writer Karen Russell’s wonderful new novella “Sleep Donation.”

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