Night LifeDaughter Christmas gave me another wonderfully evocative book of a very different sort. In 2005, whilst touring a solo show, Laurie Anderson started to have particularly vivid dreams (of foxes pleading with corpses, for example, and of eating penguin in Brighton). She began to draw her dreams on a tablet ‘literally,’ as she put it, ‘out of self defence.’ Later, she put very brief texts with the pictures and the book is a collection of those drawings and the accompanying texts. Through Nightlife I became aware of another of Laurie Anderson’s skills – for the drawings and sketches are very accomplished. There is something innocently voyeuristic about Anderson’s exploration of her mind’s night life (nothing in the least risqué but consistently surreal). At the end of the book she briefly explores theories about why we have dreams at all, speculating that ‘Maybe dreams are the secret language of the body. The body which has been silent all day talks to us all night in its private language of images, puns, gossip, memories, dire predictions, fables and stories… The body talking to the mind?’ My favourite among her dreams (and her illustrations) is the following: ‘Four women on a couch are floating down a river in the fog/I’m not sure whether they’re people I know or people from paintings./I really wish I could go with them but there’s no room on the couch./I shout but they don’t seem to hear me.’