The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone (Hardcover)

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In order to understand the crippling loneliness she felt when moving to NYC after a breakup, Laing decided to explore the work of artists who have also grappled with that tricky and complex emotion. The result is a fascinating mix of memoir, biography, and reporting, as Laing explores the work of Edward Hopper, Andy Warhol, and more in an attempt to deconstruct and understand all the intricacies of loneliness. I read this on a 12-week solo backpacking trip and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Readers of Maggie Nelson and Rebecca Solnit will enjoy this! --Santiago

— From Staff Picks - Santiago

Description


Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism

#1 Book of the Year from Brain Pickings

Named a best book of the year by NPR, Newsweek, Slate, Pop Sugar, Marie Claire, Elle, Publishers Weekly, and Lit Hub

A dazzling work of biography, memoir, and cultural criticism on the subject of loneliness, told through the lives of iconic artists, by the acclaimed author of The Trip to Echo Spring.

When Olivia Laing moved to New York City in her midthirties, she found herself inhabiting loneliness on a daily basis. Increasingly fascinated by the most shameful of experiences, she began to explore the lonely city by way of art. Moving from Edward Hopper's Nighthawks to Andy Warhol's Time Capsules, from Henry Darger's hoarding to David Wojnarowicz's AIDS activism, Laing conducts an electric, dazzling investigation into what it means to be alone, illuminating not only the causes of loneliness but also how it might be resisted and redeemed.

Humane, provocative, and moving, The Lonely City is a celebration of a strange and lovely state, adrift from the larger continent of human experience, but intrinsic to the very act of being alive.

About the Author


OLIVIA LAING is a writer and critic. Her first book, To the River, was published by Canongate in the U.K. to wide acclaim and shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize and the Dolman Travel Book of the Year. She has been the deputy books editor of the Observer, and writes for the Guardian, New Statesman, and Granta, among other publications. She is a MacDowell and Yaddo Fellow, and the 2014 Writer in Residence at the British Library. Her critically acclaimed book, The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking, is published by Picador.


Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250039576
ISBN-10: 1250039576
Publisher: Picador USA
Publication Date: March 1st, 2016
Pages: 336
Language: English