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Insomniac City : New York, Oliver, and Me
by Bill Hayes


Overview -

""If you are lonely or bone-tired or blue, you need only come down from your perch and step outside. New York--which is to say, New Yorkers--will take care of you.""
""
""Bill Hayes came to New York City in 2009 with a one-way ticket and only the vaguest idea of how he would get by.  Read more...


 
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    Insomniac City (Paperback)
    Published: 2018-01-16
    Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
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More About Insomniac City by Bill Hayes
 
 
 
Overview

""If you are lonely or bone-tired or blue, you need only come down from your perch and step outside. New York--which is to say, New Yorkers--will take care of you.""
""
""Bill Hayes came to New York City in 2009 with a one-way ticket and only the vaguest idea of how he would get by. But, at forty-eight years old, having spent decades in San Francisco, he craved change. Grieving over the death of his partner, he quickly discovered the profound consolations of the city's incessant rhythms, the sight of the Empire State Building against the night sky, and New Yorkers themselves, kindred souls that Hayes, a lifelong insomniac, encountered on late-night strolls with his camera.

And he unexpectedly fell in love again, with his friend and neighbor, the writer and neurologist Oliver Sacks, whose exuberance--"I don't so much fear death as I do wasting life," he tells Hayes early on--is captured in funny and touching vignettes throughout. What emerges is a portrait of Sacks at his most personal and endearing, from falling in love for the first time at age seventy-five to facing illness and death (Sacks died of cancer in August 2015)." Insomniac City "is both a meditation on grief and a celebration of life. Filled with Hayes's distinctive street photos of everyday New Yorkers, the book is a love song to the city and to all who have felt the particular magic and solace it offers.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781620404935
  • ISBN-10: 1620404931
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publish Date: February 2017
  • Page Count: 304
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-08-15
  • Reviewer: Staff

Hayes’s tender memoir is a love letter—to New York City and to renowned science writer Oliver Sacks. Devastated by the sudden death of a longtime partner, Hayes (The Anatomist) relocated from San Francisco to Manhattan, where he became enamored with the strange rituals and brusque charm of the locals. At roughly the same time, he entered a relationship with Sacks, whose magisterial prose and celebrity concealed the fact that he’d been celibate for 35 years and never had a serious romantic attachment. Hayes explores his fascination with his new home and growing intimacy with the unworldly, brilliant man three decades his senior who was experiencing true love for the first time. In a mélange of journal entries, photos, scenes, and meditations, Hayes reconstructs his immersion in New York and the flowering of his involvement with Sacks, a romance cut short by the fatal return of Sacks’s cancer. Hayes’s stylistic approach provides immediacy to his recollections, imbuing conversations with cab drivers and the clerk at the local bodega with significance that resonates past the superficial mundanity. Sacks wrote until the very end, and his public examination of his impending death and sexual orientation help to make Hayes’s understated descriptions of their life together remarkably poignant. Readers will find themselves wishing the two men had more time, but as Hayes makes clear, they wasted none of the time they had. (Feb.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews