Solitude: In Pursuit of a Singular Life in a Crowded World
"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). Solitude is a rapidly vanishing experience. Our society now embraces sharing like never before: time alone is being forced out of our lives by the constant pings of smartphones and prods of social media. But what if solitude still has something to offer us - something we have forgotten, but that we still desperately need? In Solitude, award-winning author Michael Harris examines why being alone matters now more than ever before. He reflects on the paradoxical feeling of isolation that emerges from being constantly connected - and on how learning the beauty of solitude can help us escape it. After all, it is when we are alone that we realise the greatest truths about ourselves. Being alone - really alone - could be the only antidote to the frenzy of our digital age. Rich with stories about the transformative power of solitude, and drawing on the research of the world's leading neuroscientists and behavioural psychologists, Solitude offers a timely and profound exploration of how to be alone - and why it matters for us all.
"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 "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, author of THE SHALLOWS "There are now plenty of self-help books that recommend a balanced media diet, but none articulates than need as simply or profoundly as this exploration of solitude." Bookseller "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 "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, author of THE CHIMPS OF FAUNA SANCTUARY
Michael Harris is the author of The End of Absence, which won the Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction and became a national bestseller in Canada. 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.