2020 NOVELLA PRIZE SELECTED BY JOE SQUANCE
MARCH 2021. ISBN 9781881163695
$20.00 SPD | Bookshop | Amazon
By recounting one woman’s real-time witnessing of a couple’s experience of stillbirth, BORN SLEEPING explores the ambivalence that lies at the heart of human relationships, the difficulty of comprehending others’ realities, the voyeurism of being on the outside of trauma and the disturbingly cool, detached eye of the writer.
Reviews & Such
- Born Sleeping is a strikingly blunt and intense account of a character’s emotional resistance and awakening as she confronts a family tragedy. The narrative develops like an extraordinary CT scan of the feeling mind and especially the feeling body, to reveal deepening layers of emotion and personal empathy. It is contemporary writing at its most unflinching.
- Remarkable for its compression and the startling detail with which it registers its world, Born Sleeping is about loss, but also about connection and love, and what it means to tell stories – overtly and unconsciously. Gildfind’s writing is rhythmic and lyrical, and always tight. This book is an impressive achievement.
- Gildfind’s novella is visceral, exhilarating and unsettling. Emotions are laid bare in all their ugly thrashing glory: live mercurial animals that for all their maudlin volatility manage to steer clear of heartbreak cliché and navel-gazing mind-anguish, instead manifesting materially and explicitly in the body and the environment. Fear is an ‘iris spontaneously propelled inwards’, memories grow ‘like bones and hair and nails’, and ‘the nursery air is swollen with expectant waiting ‘like the body of the mother.
— Grace Yee
About the Author
H.C. Gildfind is a writer of fiction, book reviews and essays that have been published online and internationally. Gildfind has also researched Australian interwar history and literature, and was awarded a PhD from The University of Melbourne in 2012.