NPR

There's No Rest For Anyone In 'The Dreamers'

Karen Thompson Walker's new novel imagines a pandemic that puts victims into a deep sleep, giving them strange dreams from which they may not wake up — and panicking those still awake.
Source: Claire Harbage

In a quiet college town — the fictional town of Santa Lora, in southern California — one by one, students fall victim to a bizarre contagious disease. They fall into a deep sleep, and don't wake up. In fact, some will never wake up. And the disease spreads throughout the town, quickly and indiscriminately.

That's the dystopian premise of Karen. "I've always been interested in sleep," she says. "I'm interested in the parts of human experience where the ordinary overlaps with the extraordinary, and so sleep is one of those things that is just so profoundly familiar, obviously, to all of us ... but we don't really know what goes on in our brains while we're asleep."

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