The Dreamers: A Novel (Hardcover)

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January 2019 Indie Next List


“A strange virus invades a small university community, sending its victims into deep, seemingly endless sleep and infecting them with extremely powerful dreams. This backdrop provides a perfect scenario for examining the delicate, often unrecognized line between reality and perception. As the crisis deepens, the characters are caught up in a phantasmagorical world that challenges normal conceptions of existence. A thoughtful, provocative novel of strength and beauty.”
— Bill Cusmano, Square Books, Oxford, MS

Description


An ordinary town is transformed by a mysterious illness that triggers perpetual sleep in this mesmerizing novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Age of Miracles.

“This book is stunning.”—Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven


Named one of the most anticipated books of 2019 by Vogue, Huffpost, Real Simple, PopSugar, Literary Hub, BuzzFeed, Bustle and Vulture.
 
One night in an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a first-year student stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and doesn’t wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. When a second girl falls asleep, and then a third, Mei finds herself thrust together with an eccentric classmate as panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. A young couple tries to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. Two sisters turn to each other for comfort as their survivalist father prepares for disaster.

Those affected by the illness, doctors discover, are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, higher than has ever been recorded before. They are dreaming heightened dreams—but of what?

Written in luminous prose, The Dreamers is a breathtaking and beautiful novel, startling and provocative, about the possibilities contained within a human life—if only we are awakened to them.
 
Advance praise for The Dreamers

“[An] imaginative, disturbing, and ultimately spellbinding narrative, which asks provocative questions about our concepts of time and connection, and the bounds of possibility for life on earth.”Vogue

“You’ll be mesmerized by this well-constructed, vividly drawn exploration of the concept of dreams versus reality.”Marie Claire 

“With mellifluous prose, Walker traces victims’ experiences (awake and asleep), along with how their family members, friends, and doctors respond to the crisis.”Real Simple 

The Dreamers is a beautifully written novel that is powerful, thoughtful, and entirely original.”PopSugar

“Richly imaginative and quietly devastating . . . Walker jolts the narrative with surprising twists, ensuring it keeps its energy until the end. This is a skillful, complex, and thoroughly satisfying novel about a community in peril.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

About the Author


Karen Thompson Walker is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Age of Miracles, which has been translated into twenty-seven languages and named one of the best books of the year by People, O: The Oprah Magazine, and Financial Times, among others. Born and raised in San Diego, Walker is a graduate of UCLA and the Columbia MFA program. She lives with her husband, the novelist Casey Walker, and their two daughters in Portland. She is an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Oregon.

Praise For…


The Dreamers is harrowing, riveting, profoundly moving, and beautifully written. In a word, this book is stunning.”—Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven

“[An] imaginative, disturbing, and ultimately spellbinding narrative, which asks provocative questions about our concepts of time and connection, and the bounds of possibility for life on earth.”Vogue
 
“You’ll be mesmerized by this well-constructed, vividly drawn exploration of the concept of dreams versus reality.”Marie Claire 
 
“With mellifluous prose, Walker traces victims’ experiences (awake and asleep), along with how their family members, friends, and doctors respond to the crisis.”Real Simple 
 
The Dreamers is a beautifully written novel that is powerful, thoughtful, and entirely original.”PopSugar
 
“Richly imaginative and quietly devastating . . . Walker jolts the narrative with surprising twists, ensuring it keeps its energy until the end. This is a skillful, complex, and thoroughly satisfying novel about a community in peril.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
“Within the spellbindingly measured narrative of the public health crisis are woven emotionally charged individual stories. . . . What is the nature of an epidemic? What is the nature of consciousness? What mix of loyalty and love binds individuals together? These are a few of the questions Walker raises in her provocative, hypnotic tale.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Frighteningly powerful, beautiful, and uncanny, The Dreamers is a love story and also a horror story—a symphonic achievement, alternating intimate moments with a panoramic capture of a crisis in progress.”—Karen Russell, author of Vampires in the Lemon Grove
 
“A modern Midsummer Night’s Dream . . . In this wonderful novel, Walker paints a haunting canvas exploring time, memory, consciousness, and youth.”—Marisha Pessl, author of Night Film

“What a book! I read The Dreamers in a dream of sorts myself, entirely transported into Karen Thompson Walker’s world of mysterious tragedy and infinite, if unexpected, compassion. This is a profound novel, and a deeply moving one. How she takes a terrifying situation and reveals it as a thing of beauty, a lesson in the human spirit, is a mystery to me, but she does exactly that, and fortunate readers will celebrate this extraordinary book.”—Robin Black, author of Life Drawing


Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780812994162
ISBN-10: 0812994167
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: January 15th, 2019
Pages: 320
Language: English