Harper, Hardcover, 9780061765094, 352pp.
Publication Date: March 1, 2010
This boldly honest and elegantly written memoir reveals the painful and sometimes debilitating experience of living with chronic lonelinessthe first book of its kind devoted exclusively to the subject.
Despite having a demanding job, good friends, and a supportive family, Emily White spent many of her evenings and weekends alone at home, trying to understand why she felt so disconnected from everyone. To keep up the faÇade of an active social life and to hide the painful truth, the successful young lawyer often lied to those around herand to herself. She was suffering from severe loneliness.
In this insightful, soul-baring, and illuminating memoir, White reveals her battle to understand and overcome this crippling condition, and contends that chronic loneliness deserves the same attention as other mental difficulties such as depression. "Right now, loneliness is something few people are willing to admit to," she writes. "There's no need for this silence, no need for the shame and self-blame it creates. There's nothing wrong with loneliness, and we need to start acknowledging this through a wider and more open discussion of the state."
Interweaving her personal story with the latest in cutting-edge scientific researchas well as the incredibly moving accounts offered by numerous lonely men and womenWhite provides a deep and thorough portrait of this increasingly common but too often ignored affliction. By investigating the science of loneliness, challenging its stigma, encouraging other lonely people to talk about their experiences, and setting out one person's struggle, Lonely redefines how we look at loneliness and helps those who are afflicted understand their mood in an entirely new light, ultimately providing solace and hope.
“Kudos to Emily White for having written that rare book which feels both necessary and evolutionary. Lonely is a masterwork on the topic, a memoir of deep insight and revelation.”
“[A] sophisticated inquiry...The power of White’s story comes from the sweeping investment she has made in tracking and tackling her loneliness. White makes the case that loneliness deserves attention and respect as a legitimate condition.”
“[A]n impassioned call to arms on behalf of a condition no one wants to talk about.”