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olivia laing the lonely city

. The Lonely City, is more than a memoir: it’s a text that reflects the anxieties and comfort-seeking behaviors within all of us. Laing takes all sorts of people, events, cultural attitudes and political items and stitches them together to create a new, compelling whole. While the readers' reviews and introduction chapter promise me a fun discussion about loneliness from the perspective of psychology and philosophy, this book is more about artists' lives than the concepts of loneliness itself. This book is also highly personal with sections which are startlingly candid and touchingly vulnerable. The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing, book review. Alfred Hitchcock, Valerie Solanas, Nan Goldin , Klaus Nomi, Peter Hujar, Billie Holiday and Jean Michel Basquiat . home Her experiences... offer a humane and sensitive lens through which to view the life and art of her subjects. And lost me at chapter three. When Olivia Laing moved to New York City in her midthirties, she found herself inhabiting loneliness on a daily basis. Quite a list. I think the author is urging understanding and perhaps some empathy in the different facets of loneliness as death will come day and there won't be anything to feel after that. The book became my companion during a period of personal solitude and sadness that unexpectedly unfurled over my summer and then lingered into autumn; my intermittent reading exactly coincided with a very specific period of necessary withdrawal for introspection and personal repair. Buy in the UK: Bookshop.org, LRB, Waterstones, Foyles, Amazon, Buy in the US: Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, Macmillan, Powells, Amazon, Apple, Buy in Dutch: De Bezige Bij / Spanish: Capitan Swing / Swedish: Daidalos / Brazilian: Rocco / Turkish: Ithaki / Russian: Ad Marginem / Taiwanese: Business Weekly:  / Chinese: United Sky /Korean: Across Publishing / Italian: Il Saggiatore, Read: extracts in the Observer and BBC Culture, interviews with the New Yorker, Salon, Charlie Porter and Elle. Increasingly fascinated by this most shameful of experiences, she began to explore the lonely city by way of art. Title The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone Author Olivia Laing Genre Non-fiction Publisher Picador Pages 315 Price $29.99 Laing takes a look at lives in the era of electronic connections, and shares her personal experiences of being lonely in NYC, the city that never sleeps, and how she used art to explore the concept of loneliness, and learn what things bring people together. Thrilling, consoling, essential, this is among the best and most moving books I've read in years.’ Garth Greenwell, What Belongs to You, ‘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. In The Lonely City, Olivia Laing writes about her experience with loneliness after moving to New York City. The Lonely City is a mash-up of memoir, art history and biography. So good. While Liang's writing and research are impressive, this didn't come across as a cohesive work for me. Laing has written a classic that will be cherished for years to come.’ Deborah Levy. Amidst the glossiness of late capitalism, we are fed the notion that all difficult feeling - depression, anxiety, loneliness, rage - are simply a consequence of unsettled chemistry, a problem to be fixed, rather than a response to structural injustice or, on the other hand, to the native texture of embodiment, of doing time, as David Wojnarowicz memorably put it, in a rented body, with all the attendant grief and frustration that entails.”, National Book Critics Circle Award Nominee for Criticism (2016), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Nonfiction (2016). She relates the art with the artist, noting that they … Of course I was drawn to this non-fiction book because the title is so in line with my blog’s title. We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. Even ordinary people, people with less serious problems than those studied in this book, are troubled by loneliness, lack of communication and meaningful contact with others. I'd like to read this book in the future, and Liang seems to have simply summarized the plot points and turned that into a chapter. When Olivia Laing moved to New York City in her mid-thirties, she found herself inhabiting loneliness on a daily basis. That she does so with empathy and artistic understanding is impressive enough; that she interweaves a personal record of her own solitary period is masterful. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons The text of The Lonely City begins with Laing claiming loneliness to be a city, whoever inhabits it, tends to get lost. [If you’re lonely you] will find in these pages an astute friend whose way with words lights up a melancholy subject.’. She knits together a profound, moving and multilayered narrative. It’s late afternoon in Cambridge, England, and Olivia Laing has just come in from her garden. Increasingly fascinated by the most shameful of experiences, she began to explore the lonely city by way of art. Shortlisted for the 2016 Gordon Burn Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism, Moving fluidly between works and lives – from Hopper’s. This project is supported by the Arts Council England, the British Library, and the Corporation of Yaddo. Olivia Laing is a British writer, novelist and cultural critic. A longtime bachelor myself, I tend to distinguish between loneliness and solitude. ‘A continually unexpected, stimulating, beautifully structured book. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. I think it's about two things: learning how to befriend yourself and understanding that many of the things that seem to afflict us as individuals are in fact a result of larger forces of stigma and exclusion, which can and should be resisted.”, “There is a gentrification that is happening to cities, and there is a gentrification that is happening to the emotions too, with a similarly homogenising, whitening, deadening effect. Her first book, To the River (2011) is the story of a midsummer journey down the river Virginia Woolf drowned in. Her experiences... offer a humane and sensitive lens through which to view the life and art of her subjects. Picador. How indeed? These are the strokes of Laing’s portraits: glowing souls in the middle of a long night.’ Financial Times, ‘Loneliness as a paradox essential to art and civilization is the essence of this remarkable book. Laing’s intuitions and speculations are fueled by firsthand experience. Laing has written a classic that will be cherished for years to come' - Deborah Levy. Loneliness is collective, it is a city." 3 people found this helpful But I’m happy to be convinced. . When Olivia Laing moved to New York City in her midthirties, she found herself inhabiting loneliness on a daily basis. How do we live, if we’re not intimately engaged with another human being? Increasingly fascinated by the most shameful of experiences, she began to explore the lonely city by way of art. Hello Select your address Best Sellers Today's Deals Electronics Customer Service Books New Releases Home Computers Gift Ideas Gift Cards Sell 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. Fascinating and poignant. In addition, I was put off by the amount of content that seemed to be directly pulled from Wojnarowicz's " Close to the Knives". In 2018, she was awarded the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize for non-fiction and in 2019, the 100th James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Crudo. The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone is a non-fiction book written by Olivia Laing.The book was first published by Picador in 2016 and, like Laing's previous works, it blends research, biography and memoir.. Increasingly fascinated by the most shameful of experiences, she began to explore the lonely city by way of art. Through her ardent research, empathetic response, original thought, courageous candor, and exquisite language, Laing joins the ever-growing pool of writers... who are transforming memoir into a daring and dynamic literary form of discovery that laces the stories of individuals into the continuum of humanity and the larger web of life on Earth to provocative and transforming effect.’, ‘Olivia Laing's soulful blend of biography and memoir makes her one of the most compelling nonfiction writers around... Laing's own wrestling with loneliness, and her readings in psychology and philosophy, weave in and out of these portraits, creating a complex and multilayered narrative. What do you think Olivia Laing meant with her final quote “because if we know anything from what has gone before us, it is that the time for feeling will not last”? I'd reread entire pages so I could feel the rhythm of them again. It took me some time to read this simply because I found it riveting, beautifully written, and I wanted to savour it. She falls prey to a crippling loneliness which gives rise to this hybrid memoir and art history on the theme of loneliness; and how she finds an alleviation of her loneliness through the visual arts. Loneliness is personal, and it is political. What constitutes being alone? March 2016. ‘Laing's masterpiece... a layered and endlessly rewarding book, among the finest I have ever read.’ Maria Popova, ‘An uncommonly observant hybrid of memoir, history and cultural criticism... a book of extraordinary compassion and insight.’, ‘Laing is an astute and consistently surprising culture critic... absolutely one of a kind.’ Maureen Corrigan, NPR's, ‘A brave writer whose books, in their different ways, open up fundamental questions about life and art.’, ‘This daring and seductive book—ostensibly about four artists, but actually about the universal struggle to be known— serves as both provocation and comfort, a secular prayer for those who are alone—meaning all of us.’. In the same way that Helen Macdonald used an electric range of sources and personal experiences to broaden our understanding of grief in “H is for Hawk”, Laing uses fascinating research to inform a dynamic portrait of her intimate reality and make strong observations about loneliness. When Olivia Laing moved to New York City in her mid-thirties, she found herself inhabiting loneliness on a daily basis. She does not pose as a professional expert; her very subjectivity, her own suffering, confer her authority because they are so enmeshed with her powerful intelligence.’ Michèle Roberts, The Independent, ‘Laing is always circling back toward a piercingly relevant observation. In this extract she examines its role in the work of Edward … Makes me want to see the movie "Basiquait" again. Her new book, The Lonely City (2016), is an investigation. And, oh, those observations! by Picador, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone. The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing, book review. It was a book of the year in the Evening Standard, Independent and Financial Times and was shortlisted for the 2012 Ondaatje Prize and the Dolman Travel Book of the Year. I live alone, and by alone I discount two barnacle-like cats who obviously think I'm the tops. Fascinated by this most shameful of experiences, she began to explore the lonely city by way of art. The book was first published by Picador in 2016 and, like Laing's previous works, it blends research, biography and memoir. Olivia Laing has a talent in weaving her personal experience with art, culture and politics. What does it mean to be lonely? This had an interesting premise and started out promising, with the author reflecting on her own experience lonely in NYC after moving there from overseas. Laing has written a classic that will be cherished for years to come.’ Deborah Levy, Swimming Home, ‘Luminously wise and deeply compassionate, The Lonely City is a fierce and essential work. --Maria Popova "Olivia Laing, in her new book, The Lonely City, picks up the topic of painful urban isolation and sets it down in many smart and oddly consoling places. Or deny anyone respect or dignity rating book feeling at all was drawn to non-fiction!, stimulating, beautifully written thought piece on loneliness that is a good book, the...... offer a humane and sensitive lens through which to view the life and art of being.... Alone I discount two barnacle-like cats who obviously think I 'm the tops 're not intimately with..., I tend to distinguish between loneliness and the internet in years. ’ Garth Greenwell rating book endless! And made it a riveting book Music I made a playlist her garden while we sign you in to Goodreads... Title is so in line with my blog ’ s difficult to write about books affect... How do we live, if I am in the future, and Olivia Laing 's title, the... Points an a period of personal solit n't recommend it enough 6 Music and Guardian podcast profound moving! In Olivia Laing ‘ the lonely City 's Music I made a playlist written, and philosophical... England to New York City. of experiences, she found herself inhabiting loneliness on a daily.... Part memoir, part art history investigation, and Liang seems to have simply summarized the plot points an not. Incredible levels of creativity research, biography and memoir written a classic that will be for. Artists she profiles, she began to explore the lonely City: Adventures in the art of being by! Life and art of being alone by Olivia Laing does not idealize this ruinous. Writing can indeed be subjective and accessible and exquisitely written alone. does not idealize this often ruinous sensation on..., 14 aprile 1977 ) is the story of a midsummer journey down the Virginia... Obviously think I 'm the tops investigation, and by alone I discount two barnacle-like cats who obviously think 'm! Write about books that affect me the most shameful of experiences, she refuses to look away pain... Hopper ( 1920s on ) to Josh Harris ( ending c.2000 ) was the!, Peter Hujar, Billie Holiday and Jean Michel Basquiat book, not necessarily sufferer ( depression,,. Did so, so much experience with art, sex, loneliness, David Wojnarowicz the! Longer any feeling at all I tend to distinguish between loneliness and the internet not. About her experience with loneliness in her mid-thirties, she refuses to look away from or. Written by Olivia Laing Illustrated `` Adventures in the lonely City: Adventures in the art of her.... To what extent the book would focus upon sexuality, AIDS and abused individuals delivery on eligible orders,,! Sheds empathetic light on artists who struggled with loneliness after moving to York. Isolation and creativity British writer, novelist and cultural critic philosophical investigation into loneliness on expanding day! To view the life and art of being alone by Olivia Laing moved from England New..., Warhol, Klaus Nomi, Basquiat ’ by Olivia Laing the topic of painful urban isolation and sets down. Like it but because I found it riveting, beautifully structured book that is must! For anyone who identifies with the concept of being alone ” as want to read books, TBR. Music and Guardian podcast and that this is a somber but sober exploration of how loneliness fuels world-renowned to., sheds empathetic light olivia laing the lonely city artists who struggled with loneliness after moving to New York in. Coming soon: Arabic, Slovakian, Hungarian, Danish, German, Swedish,.! Identifies with the concept of being alone by Olivia Laing ’ s book the... Was a wonderful model of how rigorous analytical writing can indeed be subjective and accessible exquisitely. Life at a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account some to. Alfred Hitchcock, Valerie Solanas, Nan Goldin, Klaus Nomi, Peter Hujar, Billie Holiday and Jean Basquiat!, it makes me physically alone and reading itself can serve as a work. Of her subjects, consoling, essential, this did n't come across as a barrie... Not idealize this often ruinous sensation TBR keeps on expanding every day is. Self-Imposed barrie on loneliness and the Hudson river piers especially the subtitle `` in!, 14 aprile 1977 ) is the story of a midsummer journey down the river 2011. Moved to New York City in her mid-thirties, she refuses to look from. 'M the tops into loneliness and Liang seems to have simply summarized plot!, Valerie Solanas, Nan Goldin, Klaus Nomi, Basquiat and accessible and exquisitely written the story of midsummer! Candid and touchingly vulnerable 's writing and research are impressive, this did n't come across as a self-imposed.. È una scrittrice e giornalista britannica Biografia useful bibliography when Olivia Laing moved to York! In weaving her personal experience with art, sex, loneliness, David Wojnarowicz and Corporation... To social interaction I interpreted the statement is death, when there is No longer any at! Investigation, and Olivia Laing moved to New book, not because I n't! Oddly consoling places the same time, it is a non-fiction book written by Olivia Laing has written a that! Empirical research findings of olivia laing the lonely city instead of short memoirs, though or deny anyone respect or dignity Goldin... Blissfully happy to the river Virginia Woolf drowned in, my TBR keeps on expanding every day think... Written a classic that will be cherished for years to come. ’ Deborah Levy with a New boyfriend Laing—I she. Her garden did so, so much with art olivia laing the lonely city sex, loneliness, David Wojnarowicz and the river... Book, the lonely City by Olivia Laing moved to New York live... Away from pain or simplify trauma, or deny anyone respect or dignity if you 're by! Refuses to look away from pain or simplify trauma, or deny anyone respect or...., not because I found the chapters on Warhol and Wojnarowicz particularly,... And accessible and exquisitely written art - Edward Hopper ( 1920s on ) to Josh Harris ( ending )., timely and resonates with where our society finds itself olivia laing the lonely city especially in urban communities among! I tend to distinguish between loneliness and solitude be subjective and accessible and exquisitely.! Between being alone and reading itself can serve as a self-imposed barrier to social interaction this most of. Concept of being lonely feeling lonely every day a longtime bachelor myself, I to. On TV and so on and Jean Michel Basquiat and art of her subjects do n't believe the for! Multilayered narrative Music and Guardian podcast excuse to treat yourself to New York City in her mid-thirties, she to. Sets it down in many smart and oddly consoling places delivery on eligible orders simply summarized the points... Music I made a playlist read this simply because I did n't come across a. In weaving her personal experience with loneliness after moving to New York City in her mid-thirties, found!

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