Sleeping Mask


256 pages

Trade Paper

List Price US $16.99
ISBN: 9781942658184


ISBN: 9781942658191

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“Extraordinary stories which, when one begins to savor their prose, plunge one into oceanic depths of language where the mirror of the sea reflects the myth of the self in dreamy distortions that shock one as revelations of truth.”


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“LaSalle’s narrative voice hypnotizes, and his enticingly evasive way of concluding each story leaves a dreamlike impression. The twelve stories in Sleeping Mask are nuanced tales of enduring subjects: desire, despair, the arts, and war.”

Missouri Review

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“Haunting and evocative. . . . LaSalle’s prose is lyrical, at times rhapsodic, and his characters memorable.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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“Stylistically daring. . . . An entertaining, assured sampling from an endlessly inventive writer.”

Shelf Awareness for Readers

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“Engaging. . . . LaSalle, a literary descendent of Borges and Nabokov, writes with the inventiveness of his predecessors.”

Library Journal

“[Sleeping Mask] features characters exploring their circumstances, expectations, and regrets and ruminating on artistry, literature, and mere existence. . . . LaSalle’s dozen multifaceted tales challenge the reader to look beyond a linear narrative, as characters are propelled toward an unraveling, bewildering void.”


“Deftly written. . . . Very highly recommended.”

Midwest Book Review

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The twelve stories of Sleeping Mask, written in propulsive, fluid prose, introduce readers to remarkable characters. They include a child soldier sent to raid a girls’ boarding school, a Virginia Woolf scholar surviving cancer, a desperate writer living under fascism in a futuristic Latin America, the spirits of recently deceased college students on a tour of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, and a middle-aged man transported back to his childhood, where he is led out to sea by his mother’s ghost.

LaSalle’s tantalizing “fictions” are evocative of many of the great innovators of postmodern literature, from Borges to Nabokov, while charting a path entirely their own. Through all of their stylistic pyrotechnics these stories never forsake rich characterization and plotting to probe the deepest parts of the contemporary human condition, such as the nature of erotic desire, the legacy of art and artistry, the power of grief and fear, and the horror of war and violence.

Excerpt from Sleeping Mask

Peter LaSalle discusses the influence of Jorge Luis Borges’ Ficciones on Sleeping Mask: Fictions at Beatrice and makes the case for the short story as “tour de force,” gifting readers “the feeling of having been transported somewhere new and important via the whirlwind of the words” at TSP: The official blog of The Story Prize.