New Voices: “Methods of Rest”


“Listening to the radio—there has been a plane crash—I get dressed, and softly groan with weariness. Sarah Marie, my pretty, well-adjusted roommate, is in the shower, and though I am greasy and itchy I do not feel like waiting for her to be done. I would have to talk to her, and she would have to ask me how I slept....”

The latest installment in our series of fiction by previously unpublished authors presents the layered, evocative story of a young woman whose relentless insomnia mirrors her deeper personal struggles.

Vivien Shotwell is a Canadian-American author and mezzo-soprano whose first novel, Vienna Nocturne (Ballantine, 2014), has been translated into seven languages. Shotwell has performed with the Rai Symphony Orchestra in Turin, Italy, and the Los Angeles Opera, among others. She received a B.A. from William’s College, an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, and an artist diploma from the Yale School of Music, where she was awarded both the David L. Kasdon Memorial Prize and the Phyllis Curtin Career Entry Prize.