Solitude: A Singular Life In A Crowded World

Hardcover | April 18, 2017

byMichael Harris

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Governor General's Award-winner Michael Harris explores the profound emotional and intellectual benefits of solitude, and how we may achieve it in our fast-paced world.


The capacity to be alone--properly alone--is one of life's subtlest skills. Real solitude is a contented and productive state that garners tangible rewards: it allows us to reflect and recharge, improving our relationships with ourselves and, paradoxically, with others. Today, the zeitgeist embraces sharing like never before. Fueled by our dependence on online and social media, we have created an ecosystem of obsessive distraction that dangerously undervalues solitude. Many of us now lead lives of strangely crowded loneliness--we are ever-connected, but only shallowly so.
     Award-winning author Michael Harris examines why our experience of solitude has become so impoverished, and how we may grow to love it again in the frenzy of our digital landscape. Solitude is an optimistic and encouraging story about discovering true quiet inside the city, inside the crowd, inside our busy and urbane lives. Harris guides readers away from a life of ceaseless pings toward a state of measured connectivity, one that balances solitude and companionship.
     Rich with true stories about the life-changing power of solitude, and interwoven with reporting from the world's foremost brain researchers, psychologists and tech entrepreneurs, Solitude is a beautiful and prescriptive statement on the benefits of being alone.

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Governor General's Award-winner Michael Harris explores the profound emotional and intellectual benefits of solitude, and how we may achieve it in our fast-paced world.The capacity to be alone--properly alone--is one of life's subtlest skills. Real solitude is a contented and productive state that garners tangible rewards: it allows us...

Michael Harris is the author of The End of Absence, which won the Governor General's Literary Award and became a national bestseller. He writes about media, civil liberties and the arts for dozens of publications, including The Washington Post, Wired, Salon, The Huffington Post and The Globe and Mail. His work has been a finalist for t...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 8.5 × 5.7 × 0.9 inPublished:April 18, 2017Publisher:Doubleday CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385686048

ISBN - 13:9780385686044

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"I came away from this book a better human being. Michael Harris's take on existence is calm, unique and makes one's soul feel good, yet never once does he rely on feel-good techniques." —Douglas Coupland"This is an excellent book by a first-rate writer. Michael Harris brings his insight and eloquence to bear on one of the most insidious problems of our time: how to break free from the seductions of technology and reclaim our inner selves." —Deborah Campbell, award-winning author of A Disappearance in Damascus"Michael Harris's Solitude is a delightful reminder that, contrary to current wisdom, we cannot be fully human unless our minds are free to wander. An essential and spirited companion as our digital culture accelerates into the unknown." —Andrew Westoll, award-winning author of The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary"We should remind ourselves that a life without solitude is a diminished life. What makes this book so valuable and so timely is that it serves both as a reminder of solitude's worth and as a spur to resistance." Nicholas Carr, acclaimed author of The Shallows"In a time of unrelenting connection, solitude becomes a radical act. It also becomes an essential one. Michael Harris makes a thoughtful and deeply felt case for why the art of spending quality time with oneself matters now more than ever—and the steps we can take to reclaim it." —Brian Christian, author of The Most Human Human and Algorithms to Live By