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Insomniac City : New York, Oliver, and me / Bill Hayes.

  • Hayes, Bill, 1961-
  • Books

About this work


"Bill Hayes came to New York City in 2009 with a one-way ticket and only the vaguest idea of how he would get by. But at forty-eight years old, having spent decades in San Francisco, he craved change. Grieving over the death of his partner, he quickly discovered the profound consolations of the city's incessant rhythms, the sight of the Empire State Building against the night sky, and New Yorkers themselves, kindred souls that Hayes, a lifelong insomniac, encountered on late-night strolls with his camera. And he unexpectedly fell in love again, with his friend and neighbor, the writer and neurologist Oliver Sacks, whose exuberance--"I don't so much fear death as I do wasting life," he tells Hayes early on--is captured in funny and touching vignettes throughout. What emerges is a portrait of Sacks at his most personal and endearing, from falling in love for the first time at age seventy-five to facing illness and death (Sacks died of cancer in August 2015). Insomniac City is both a meditation on grief and a celebration of life. Filled with Hayes's distinctive street photos of everyday New Yorkers, the book is a love song to the city and to all who have felt the particular magic and solace it offers."--Jacket.


New York : Bloomsbury, 2017.

Physical description

291 pages : black and white illustrations, portraits ; 22 cm


Part I: Insomniac City. Insomniac City ; Sleep: loss ; Black crow ; O and I ; On becoming a New Yorker ; Subway Lifer ; The summer Michael Jackson dies ; A fisherman on the subway ; A poem written on the stars ; The moving man ; For the skateboarders -- Part II: On being not dead. The thank-you man ; The same taxi twice ; The weeping man ; On being not dead ; On a typewriter ; At the skateboard park ; A woman who knew her way ; Driving a supermodel ; Lessons from the smoke shop ; A year in trees ; On Father's Day -- Part III: How New York breaks your heart. My afternoon with Ilona ; His name is Raheem ; A Monet of one's own ; But ; Everything that I don't have ; A pencil sharpener ; Home.



  • English

Where to find it

  • LocationStatus
    History of Medicine
    BZP (Hayes)
    Open shelves

Permanent link



  • 1620404931
  • 9781620404935