At 48, photographer and writer Bill Hayes moved to New York City, determined to change his life after the death of his partner. A lifelong insomniac, he became captivated by his new world, wandering the streets at night with his camera. He also fell in love with his neighbour, Oliver Sacks.
In this podcast, Bill talks to Stephen Metcalf about Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me, his loving tribute to Sacks and to New York, and his tender insights into living with both
This podcast was recorded live at the 2021 Sydney Writers' Festival.
This recording is available on all major podcast platforms.
Bill Hayes (International)
The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in nonfiction, Bill Hayes is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and the author of five books: Sleep Demons; Five Quarts; The Anatomist; Insomniac City; and How We Live Now: Scenes from the Pandemic. Hayes is also a photographer, with credits including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and The New York Times. His portraits of his partner, the late Oliver Sacks, appear in the volume of Dr. Sacks’ suite of final essays, Gratitude. A collection of his street photography, How New York Breaks Your Heart, was recently published. Hayes has lectured at NYU, UCSF and University of Virginia, and has appeared at the Sydney Writers’ Festival, the 92nd Street Y, the Times of India (Mumbai) LitFest and other venues. He serves as a co-editor of Dr. Sacks’ posthumously published work.
Anton Enus (Australian)
Anton Enus has been a broadcast journalist for more than 35 years, working initially in his native South Africa during the apartheid era and in the transition to democracy. For the past 20 years, he’s been a news presenter for SBS World News. He has also been an ambassador for Bowel Cancer Australia since 2014 and advocates strongly on behalf of the national bowel cancer screening program.