The TLS carried an abridged extract of Insomnia, ahead of UK publication, that picked up one of the book’s key threads: the false appeal of the idea of enchanted sleep, and how that idea masks real anxieties about how we live. In the book this argument is spliced and recombined with other narratives across the book that explore – variously –  the centrality of absence to the idea of love; the gnawing loneliness at the heart of sleeplessness; the significance of the marriage bed; and how the mind works when in the grips of a nocturnal fever.