Bill Hayes

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The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in nonfiction, Bill Hayes is a frequent contributor to the New York Times and the author of several books.

A photographer as well as a writer, his photos have appeared in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Granta, New York Times, and on CBS Evening News. His portraits of his partner, the late Oliver Sacks, appear in the recent collection of Dr. Sacks’s suite of final essays Gratitude.

Hayes has been a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome, the recipient of a Leon Levy Foundation grant, and a Resident Writer at Blue Mountain Center. He has also served as a guest lecturer at Stanford, NYU, UCSF, University of Virginia, and the New York Academy of Medicine.

Average rating: 4.3 · 6,448 ratings · 993 reviews · 13 distinct worksSimilar authors
Insomniac City: New York, O...

4.42 avg rating — 4,832 ratings — published 2017 — 8 editions
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The Anatomist: A True Story...

3.91 avg rating — 587 ratings — published 2007 — 7 editions
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Five Quarts: A Personal and...

3.74 avg rating — 314 ratings — published 2005 — 7 editions
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Sleep Demons: An Insomniac'...

3.69 avg rating — 140 ratings — published 2001 — 4 editions
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How New York Breaks Your Heart

4.02 avg rating — 108 ratings2 editions
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How We Live Now: Scenes fro...

4.12 avg rating — 85 ratings — published 2020 — 2 editions
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The One Percenter Encyclope...

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Sweat: A History of Exercise

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Steam Trains of the World

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Drunk and Disorderly: Bill ...

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More of Bill's books…
“I've lived in New York long enough to understand why some people hate it here: the crowds, the noise, the traffic, the expense, the rents; the messed-up sidewalks and pothole-pocked streets; the weather that brings hurricanes named after girls that break your heart and take away everything.
It requires a certain kind of unconditional love to love living here. But New York repays you in time in memorable encounters, at the very least. Just remember: ask first, don't grab, be fair, say please and thank you- even if you don't get something back right away. You will.”
Bill Hayes, Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me

“I don’t so much fear death as I do wasting life.” Oliver Sacks”
Bill Hayes, Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me

“I suppose it’s a cliché to say you’re glad to be alive, that life is short, but to say you’re glad to be not dead requires a specific intimacy with loss that comes only with age or deep experience. One has to know not simply what dying is like, but to know death itself, in all its absoluteness. After all, there are many ways to die—peacefully, violently, suddenly, slowly, happily, unhappily, too soon. But to be dead—one either is or isn’t. The same cannot be said of aliveness, of which there are countless degrees. One can be alive but half-asleep or half-noticing as the years fly, no matter how fully oxygenated the blood and brain or how steadily the heart beats. Fortunately, this is a reversible condition. One can learn to be alert to the extraordinary and press pause—to memorize moments of the everyday.”
Bill Hayes, Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me

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