Madeleine Is Sleeping by Sarah Shun-lien Bynum

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When a girl falls into a deep and impenetrable sleep, the borders between her provincial French village and the peculiar, beguiling realm of her dreams begin to disappear: A fat woman sprouts delicate wings and takes flight; a failed photographer stumbles into the role of pornographer; a beautiful young wife grows to resemble her husband's viol. And in their midst travels Madeleine, the dreamer, who is trying to make sense of her own metamorphosis as she leaves home, joins a gypsy circus, and falls into an unexpected triangle of desire and love.

An extraordinary debut, Madeleine Is Sleeping received jubilant critical acclaim and was honored with a National Book Award nomination. Part fairy tale, part coming-of-age story, this "dream of a book" (Michael Cunningham) is an adventure in the discovery of art, sexuality, community, and the self.


About Sarah Shun-lien Bynum

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Sarah Shun-lien Bynum's fiction has appeared in the Georgia Review and Alaska Quarterly Review. She lives with her husband in Brooklyn, New York. Madeleine Is Sleeping is her first novel.
Published November 1, 2005 by Mariner Books. 276 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction

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Eventually in her dreams, also possibly in her past, Madeleine travels to Paris to live as the storybook Madeleine with Mme.

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Publishers Weekly

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A starred review indicates a book of outstanding quality. A review with a blue-tinted title indicates a book of unusual commercial interest that hasn't received a starre

Jun 07 2004 | Read Full Review of Madeleine Is Sleeping

Publishers Weekly

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The book culminates in a masterful merge between Madeleine's waking life and her dreams, making it impossible to discern whether reality ever existed in Bynum's imaginative tale.

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USA Today

Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum's debut novel, Madeleine Is Sleeping, takes place in that state between being awake and asleep.A reader wouldn't be totally out of line to think of this as a modern fairy tale.

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