Publication date – March 11, 2014
Praise for The Secret Life of Sleep:
After reading The Secret Life of Sleep, you may find yourself inhabiting a new, and enhanced, view of the world and of yourself, which may be best articulated by Kat Duff’s own description of emerging from the dream world:
“When I wake up, I often feel slightly altered, as if the streams of experience I dreamed were actually my own. My sense of self becomes a little more open and elastic, and I feel affinities with people, animals, countries and situations I had never really had before.”
By twisting viewpoints… from outside to inside, and from inside to beyond the outer/inner dichotomy, new realms of possibility spring forth from depths not accessible from the daylight stance of “either/or.” We begin to see instead from the standpoint of interactive relationships: of mind to body, of personal psyche to world psyche, of inner worlds to outer worlds, of the individualized egoic construction of reality to that of a unitary consciousness.
– Arifa Goodman, Jungian Analyst
She’s done it again!… As with her previous book, (Alchemy of an Illness) Kat Duff has taken an aspect of everyday life, dusted it off, polished it, and revealed all its wondrous facets…As a pediatrician for 30 years (and no doubt sleep-deprived the entire time!), I have been faced with helping children and their families deal with the many issues. While reading The Secret Life of Sleep, I suddenly realized that many of the problems we were faced with were likely unknowingly brought about by sleep issues… Duff has given us a tremendous gift of renewal!
– Loretta Ortiz y Pino, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Holy Cross Hospital
This impressive account from Duff (The Alchemy of Illness) presents the science of sleep without putting its readers to sleep. She intersperses personal anecdotes amid her array of data, which ranges from laboratory sleep studies to poetry and folklore…The scientific work Duff seamlessly draws into the narrative serves to illuminate cultural understandings. For example, the mythic spirits that visit us in our sleep—the kinds that come to Scrooge at the height of his Christmas cynicism—are described in their literary contexts, before being analyzed on their biological bases. Dreams, from the barely memorable to the life changing, play a prominent role in this text, and Duff addresses the anxieties and fears of sleep itself that keep us awake at night…Duff leads an absorbing foray into the vibrant activity that we otherwise sleep right through. (Mar.)
– Publisher’s Weekly (reviewed on: 12/09/2013)
An investigation of the many mysteries of sleep, a subject that “opens a Pandora’s box of bigger questions of consciousness and unconsciousness, remembering and forgetting, body and soul, and reality itself.” Though sleep has often been the subject of clinical studies and pharmaceutical research, its cultural history is rarely thoroughly explored. Mental health counselor Duff (The Alchemy of Illness, 1993) delves deep into the human experience of sleep to reach a better understanding of its causes and effects…The author weaves captivating anecdotes with scientific data, detailing how brain activity alters during sleep, relaxing reality-bound inhibitions and often leading to moments of great insight. Duff argues that everyone dreams, whether those experiences are remembered or not, and that these nocturnal mental adventures have a big effect on the decisions we make while awake… Full of unique insights and surprising facts, this book brings to the fore an entire world that exists behind closed eyes.
– Kirkus Review
Winner of the 1996 Body Mind Spirit Book Award
Praise for The Alchemy of Illness:
The Alchemy of Illness is pure heart-talk, a path back to the soul, an honoring of all that we are. Kat Duff is a very wise woman, and her incandescent book is sheer poetry.
– Larry Dossey, M.D.
Illness becomes numinous in Kat Duff’s strong telling… Quite simply, this is a masterpiece.
– Jean Houston
Kat Duff has dared to give voice to the deep truth about sickness that our culture has avoided… Her book has changed my life and I thank her.
– Natalie Goldberg
An elegant, shredding, affirming and vividly candid study of chronic illness, the book offers intellectual as well as emotional solace for those who are presently suffering and a release from shame and self-recrimination for those who have suffered in the past.
– Publisher’s Weekly, 1994
Bringing together insights from psychology, religion and anthropology, and explicating the words of shamans and philosophers from many cultures, Duff tracks the universality of illness and the curious contradictions – the sense of freedom, for example- that emerge in its midst.
– Publisher’s Weekly, 1993
A beautifully written, deeply felt and carefully considered look at a universal phenomenon, …a groundbreaking and original work.
– Patricia Pettijohn, The WomanSource Catalogue & Review