A flattened protagonist: Sleep and environmental mitigation in Lydia Millet's How the Dead Dream

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Abstract

Thinking with contemporary American novelist Lydia Millet’s How the Dead Dream (2007), this essay explores sleep as a form of ecological relief and argues that the form of the novel can critically expose the limitations of a “set-aside” approach to environmental conservation. As the protagonist T. loses the ability to sequester personal losses, he pursues co-sleeping opportunities with critically endangered animals both in zoos and in the wild. Through his somnolent form, the novel imagines sustainable and rehabilitative alternatives to traditional character development.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbervpz012
JournalContemporary Women's Writing
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2019

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