Solitude: In Pursuit of a Singular Life in a Crowded World

Solitude: In Pursuit of a Singular Life in a Crowded World

by Michael Harris


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Solitude: In Pursuit of a Singular Life in a Crowded World by Michael Harris

With a foreword by Nicholas Carr, author of the Pulitzer Prize–finalist The Shallows.

Today, society embraces sharing like never before. Fueled by our dependence on mobile devices and social media, we have created an ecosystem of obsessive connection. Many of us now lead lives of strangely crowded isolation: we are always linked, but only shallowly so.

The capacity to be alone, properly alone, is one of life’s subtlest skills. Real solitude is a powerful resource we can call upon—a crucial ingredient for a rich interior life. It inspires reflection, allows creativity to flourish, and improves our relationships with ourselves and, unexpectedly, with others. Idle hands can, in fact, produce the extraordinary. In living bigger and faster, we have forgotten the joys of silence, and undervalued how profoundly it can revolutionize our lives.

This book is about discovering stillness inside the city, inside the crowd, inside our busy lives. With wit and energy, award-winning author Michael Harris weaves captivating true stories with reporting from the world’s foremost brain researchers, psychologists, and tech entrepreneurs to guide us toward a state of measured connectivity that balances quiet and companionship.

Solitude is a beautiful and convincing statement on the transformative power of being alone.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250088604
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 04/04/2017
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 543,047
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Michael Harris is the author of The End of Absence, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-fiction and was longlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize, the Chautauqua Prize, and the BC National Award for Canadian Non-fiction. He writes about media, civil liberties, and the arts for dozens of publications, including The Washington Post, Wired, Salon, and The Globe and Mail. He lives in Vancouver.

Table of Contents

Foreword Nicholas Carr xi

The Dark-Born Magic 1

Part I The Uses of Solitude

1 All Together Now 11

2 What Is Solitude For? 30

Part II Bolt from the Blue

3 The "Wandering Mind 45

4 Daydream Destroyers 62

Part III Who Do You Think You Are?

5 Style 79

6 You Have to Taste This 97

7 Stranger in a Strange Land 111

8 A Walk in the Wilds 132

Part IV Knowing Others

9 Social Stories 155

10 Love Letters 179

11 The Failing Body 196

12 The Cabin in the Woods 215

Notes 230

Thanks 244

Index 247

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