The Lonely City
Adventures in the Art of Being Alone
by Olivia Laing
Olivia Laing has a talent in weaving her personal experience with art, culture and politics. She talks about loneliness-one of the most common ironies of our modern life-through the works and lives of American artists-Hopper, Warhol, Wojnarowicz, Darger, Nomi, Garbo, Solanas, Holliday. Olivia Laing’s The Lonely City investigates this sense of solitude, partly through her own experience and partly through the works of artists such as Edward Hopper, Andy Warhol, Henry Darger and David Wojnarowicz. This is an edited extract from The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing (Canongate Books, £16.99). To order a copy for £12.99, go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call.
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- ISBN: 9781250039576 (1250039576)
- Awards: National Book Critics Circle Award Nominee for Criticism (2016), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Nonfiction (2016)
- Author: Olivia Laing
- Publisher: Picador
- Language: english
- Release date: March 1, 2016
- Genres: memoir, art, biography, psychology, essays, history, travel
- Format: hardcover, 336 pages
About The Book
Olivia Laing Home
What does it mean to be lonely? How do we live, if we’re not intimately engaged with another human being? How do we connect with other people? Does technology draw us closer together or trap us behind screens?
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 works and lives — from Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks to Andy Warhol’s Time Capsules, from Henry Darger’s hoarding to the depredations of the AIDS crisis — 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.
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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, PublishersWeekly, and Lit Hub
To The River Olivia Laing
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.
Olivia Laing The Lonely City
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.