The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone (Paperback)Olivia Laing (author)
Something of a modern classic, Laing’s singular memoir draws from art, culture and deep personal experience to weave together a transcendent study of loneliness, its causes and consequences.
'The Lonely City is a stunning homage to how extreme loneliness can make us more hospitable to the strangeness of others - to the risks and innovations of art and artists. Laing has written a classic that will be cherished for years to come' - Deborah Levy
When Olivia Laing moved to New York City in her mid-thirties, she found herself inhabiting loneliness on a daily basis. Increasingly fascinated by this most shameful of experiences, she began to explore the lonely city by way of art.
Moving fluidly between the works and lives of some of the city's most compelling artists, 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.
Publisher: Canongate Books
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 226 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 20 mm
'Triumphant... a brave writer whose books open up fundamental questions about life and art' - Daily Telegraph
'Wonderfully freewheeling... constantly surprising... inspired' - The Guardian
'Luminously wise and deeply compassionate... a fierce and essential work -- Helen MacDonald, author of H is for Hawk
'Unusually brave... Sublime' - The Times
'A new kind of literature... Endlessly, compulsively fascinating' - New Statesman
'Laing cuts close to the bone of a universal yet often unrelatable state' -Financial Times
'One of the finest writers of the new non-fiction... Compelling and original' - Harpers Bazaar
T'he Lonely City is continually unexpected, stimulating and beautifully structured. I am in awe of Olivia Laing's insights, braininess and that something that feels like recklessness until it lands' - Peter Carey
'The Lonely City is a stunning homage to how extreme loneliness can make us more hospitable to the strangeness of others - to the risks and innovations of art and artists. Laing has written a classic that will be cherished for years to come' - Deborah Levy, author of Swimming Home
'Exhilarating... beautifully integrated, original, compassionate' - Michele Roberts, Independent
'A gifted critic and biographer... a fascinating, eerie piece of writing' - The Sunday Times
'Smart and oddly consoling... Laing makes the topic her own' - The New York Times Book Review
'Blisteringly precise... Her gift as a critic is her ability to imaginatively sympathize with her subjects in a way that allows the art and life of the artist to go on radiating meaning after the book is closed' - Elle
'An uncommonly observant hybrid of memoir, history and cultural criticism . . . a book of extraordinary compassion and insight' - The San Francisco Chronicle
'Remarkable . . . a memoir, an essay and a group biography all in one, which takes a difficult, almost taboo subject and deftly turns it over anew' - Evening Standard
'Connecting becomes less intimidating if the fear of failure is removed. This brave book is a step in that direction' - The Economist
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ReviewsView all Sign In To Write A Review
“A unique contribution to the artistic and psychological fields of non-fiction”
The subtitle to The Lonely City is: “Adventures in the Art of Being Alone.” It is a non-fiction work on the nature of loneliness and what happens to those who make the decision to set themselves apart from other... More
“Loneliness of artists”
The content of the book does not justify the title. Every chapter focuses on one artist, and describes their life, art and their loneliness. Since I'm not interested in artists, this is not the book I want, and I... More
“A beautiful meditation on loneliness ”
The Lonely City follows Laing through her time in New York, balancing the loneliness she felt in the big city alongside the loneliness felt by artists, which often drove their work. The book focuses on David Hopper,... More
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