2:12 a.m. by Kat Meads

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The CQR-published essay “Among the Wakeful, These” by Kat Meads is now part of a collection, 2:12 a.m., just out from Stephen F. Austin State University Press.

Stephen F. Austin State University Press

ISBN 978-1-62288-039-3


Advance Praise for 2:12 a.m.

Kat Meads can be funny, eloquent, enlightening and exciting—all in one compelling essay after another. Her new collection is a book to buy and enjoy from beginning to end.

—Lee Gutkind, Founder and Editor, Creative Nonfiction; author of You Can’t Make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction—from Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between

The personal essay is not only alive but well, very well, in this excellent new collection by Kat Meads, chronic insomniac, who takes the reader on “a red-eye tour of the world at large and the world within,” from the swampy lowland of her North Carolina childhood, to California, to Vegas, to upstate New York, to St. Petersburg. It’s a lively trip with a guide full of insight, wit, curiosity, compassion, intelligence, and charm. Distinctive in style, beautifully paced, it offers what the personal essay does best, a traveling companion for our own journey, the chance to feel less lonely as we make our way through the world.

—Lee Zacharias, author of At Random and The Only Sounds We Make

Kat Meads’ 2:12 a.m. is a deeply engaging collection of essays whose subjects and locales range from Patty Hearst and atomic testing to Las Vegas wedding chapels and the Salton Sea, all considered through the lively intelligence of a brilliant insomniac who walks in her sleep and makes profound connections between childhood friends in the coastal village of her youth and the human tragedies of great literature and history. A lovely and provocative book.

—Philip Gerard, author of Down the Wild Cape Fear and Creative Nonfiction: Researching and Crafting Stories of Real Life

This is a fascinating and original collection that takes us into a night world undreamt of by those who inhabit daytime complacencies. “Jilted by sleep,” left to the torments of “night at its stalker best,” Meads finds ways of making the best of it, engaging in a whimsical game of naming and remembering every bed she’s ever slept in, seeking explanations for why she and her sleep were so rudely parted, her mind ranging widely over such subjects as Patty Hearst, Lee Harvey Oswald, the Duchess of Windsor. She muses about the strange, haunting Insomnia Drawings of Louise Bourgeois, that artist of insomnia, inhabiting Bourgeois’ “nighttime imagination” as only one who has a nighttime imagination of her own could do. She has a wonderful eye for the surreal, whether she’s describing a visit to the Salton Sea or the Nevada Test Site or a hilarious sleepless wedding night in Las Vegas. There is much to think about here, and much to enjoy, not least of which is the author’s wonderfully supple style, sentences that do arabesque leaps from the wickedly funny to the lyrical and hauntingly evocative.

—Gayle Greene, author of Insomniac




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