Sleep Donation by Karen Russell



Our world is in crisis.  Sleep is no longer the luxury it once was.  In fact a large portion of the population has lost the ability to sleep.  Slumber Corps is the place to find relief, boasting that they can take sleep “donations” from those who sleep with ease, especially young children who do not carry yet with them the realities of life into their rest time.  In fact Slumber Corps is discovering that the younger the child… the better the donation.  Of course you need to be able to convince families that their child will not be harmed at all, will not even notice the sleep that has been ebbed away from them.

Enter Trish Edgewater.  Trish has been an employee of Slumber Corps as a recruiter.  Trish has a way with potential donors as her own sister Dori died a horrifying death  when she was diagnosed with the lethal insomnia.  Once potential donors here Trish tell what happened to her sister, “If only someone would have donated sleep to her….”, they tearfully agree to become part of the project.

Underneath it all, Trish knows the truth of those who donate and the side effects of this treatment that will show up eventually.  Yet wearing her sister’s memory on her heart she repeats her story time and again to help Slumber Corps, to help.. ease her guilt. 

When “baby A” comes along, Trish starts to waiver… wondering if what she is doing is really the right thing to do, and if not, what can she do to change things right under the companies ever watching eye.




Sleep Donation was an engaging listening experience on a frightening subject of a world which is losing its ability to sleep.  Karen Russell is on to something pretty amazing (and scary) in her short 3 hours and 40 minute audio.  I could easily imagine this being a TV series.

My only gripe is that it was so short and I feel that the story could have been more powerful if it slowed down and took time to develop the story more.  Still, although a quick listen it left me wishing there was more.

10 thoughts on “Sleep Donation by Karen Russell

  1. I eat this stuff up. Anything having to do with pandemics, end of the world stuff or weird illnesses and I am all over it. This sounds promising but the too short thing will bug me.

  2. Wow! I loved her Vampires in the Lemon Grove, and have been waiting for the right time to read St. Lucy’s. This sounds great 🙂

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