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 is a writer and editor working mainly in narrative non-fiction and memoir, producing books, essays and journalism. Her latest books, The Middlepause (2016) and Insomnia (2018) were published in the UK, US and Australia and have been translated into eight languages. In 2020 she edited Garden Among Fires: A lockdown anthology published by Dodo Ink. Most recently, her feminist manifesto 'Soma' appeared in Trauma: Essays on Art nad Mental Health (2021). Marina is also a senior editor at Aeon Magazine.