The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson

In an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a freshman girl stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and doesn’t wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics who carry her away, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. Then a second girl falls asleep, and then another, and panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. As the number of cases multiplies, a quarantine is established. The National Guard is summoned.

Mei finds herself thrust together with an eccentric, idealistic classmate. Two visiting professors try to protect their newborn baby. And at the hospital, a new life grows within a college girl, unbeknownst to her—even as she sleeps. A psychiatrist, summoned from Los Angeles, attempts to make sense of the illness as it spreads. Those infected are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, more than has ever been recorded. They are dreaming heightened dreams—but of what?

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racist language
  • Suicide
  • Epidemic
  • Animal death
  • Bullying