Author Archives: Alice Robb


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A dramatic picture of my face by Antonio Olmos for the Guardian

I wrote a book called Why We Dream. It was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on November 20, 2018 and you can buy it here. It will be translated into sixteen foreign languages and has been recommended by places like Vogue, Elle, TIME, New York and The Guardian .

You can read an excerpt, which appeared on the cover of The New York Times Sunday Review, here. (Other excerpts appeared in TIME, Wired and Lapham’s Quarterly.)

The New Yorker says it’s “a spirited rebuke to the idea of sleep as a mere parting with consciousness… she is able to tread a careful and persuasive line between robust skepticism and open-mindedness…Part of the charm of Robb’s book lies in her willingness to journey beyond the bounds of what is scientifically verifiable—to embrace the strictly unrigorous ways in which humans attempt to extract meaning from their dream lives….In celebrating dreams as poetic artifacts, Robb offers a welcome antidote to the medicine administered by most sleep gurus. She is a more persuasive sleep saleswoman precisely because she does not champion slumber solely as a mental-health aid—an enhancer of acuity and efficiency, and so forth—but as an end in itself.”

I have written for The New Republic (where I was a staff writer), New YorkThe New StatesmanThe AtlanticElleForeign Policy, The Washington Post, Vice, The BBC and British Vogue. My work has been republished by Slate, CNN, The Week, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan and Town & Country.

I graduated from Oxford with a BA in Archaeology and Anthropology.