Descent into Darkness
Lisa Appignanesi, Marina Benjamin
Chair: Amanda Craig
In Insomnia, Marina Benjamin has produced an unsettling account of an unsettling condition, treating our inability to sleep not as a disorder, but as an existential experience that can electrify our understanding of ourselves, and of creativity and love. Lisa Appignanesi, in Everyday Madness, writes of the rage she experienced when her partner of 32 years died. In this brave examination of an ‘ordinary enough’ death and its aftermath, she scrutinises her own and our society’s experience of grieving, the effects of loss and the potent, mythical space it occupies in our lives.
In Association with the TLS
Lisa Appignanesi has been a university lecturer in European Studies and was Deputy Director of London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts. Her works of non-fiction include Freud’s Women (with John Forrester), a biographical portrait of Simone de Beauvoir, and a history of cabaret. She has edited The Rushdie File and a number of books on contemporary culture, as well as producing various films for television. Lisa Appignanesi lives in London with her two children.Marina Benjamin
Marina Benjamin is a senior editor at Aeon Magazine. She is a former arts editor of the New Statesman magazine and deputy arts editor of the Evening Standard newspaper in London. Among her books, Living at the End of the World looked at modern end-time cults, Rocket Dreams offered an off-beat elegy to the Space Age, and Last Days in Babylon told the story of the Jews of Iraq. Following on from her widely acclaimed midlife memoir, The Middlepause (2016), her latest autobiographical work, Insomnia, was published in 2018.