“Loneliness, I began to realise, was a populated place: a city in itself. And when one inhabits a city, even a city as rigorously and logically constructed as Manhattan, one starts by getting lost”
A dazzling investigation into loneliness, art and the modern city - ‘A fierce and essential work’ Helen Macdonald
SHORTLISTED FOR THE GORDON BURN PRIZE
Chosen as ‘BOOK OF THE YEAR’ by Observer, Guardian, Telegraph, Irish Times, New Statesman, Times Literary Supplement, Herald
When Olivia Laing moved to New York City in her mid-thirties, she found herself inhabiting loneliness on a daily basis. Increasingly fascinated by this most shameful of experiences, she began to explore the lonely city by way of art. Moving fluidly between the works and lives of some of the city’s most compelling artists, Laing conducts an electric, dazzling investigation into what it means to be alone, illuminating not only the causes of loneliness but also how it might be resisted and redeemed.
“Triumphant … A brave writer whose books open up fundamental questions about life and art”
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“Luminously wise and deeply compassionate … A fierce and essential work”
Helen Macdonald, Author Of H Is For Hawk
“Wonderfully freewheeling … Constantly surprising … Inspired”
”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. Laing has written a classic that will be cherished for years to come”
Deborah Levy, Author Of Swimming Home
“A new kind of literature … Endlessly, compulsively fascinating”
Olivia Laing is a widely acclaimed writer and critic. Her work appears in numerous publications, including the Guardian, Observer, New Statesman, Frieze and New York Times. She’s a Yaddo and MacDowell Fellow and was 2014 Eccles Writer in Residence at the British Library. Her first book, To the River, was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and the Dolman Travel Book of the Year. The Trip to Echo Spring was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Biography Award and the 2014 Gordon Burn Prize. The Lonely City has been shortlisted for the 2016 Gordon Burn Prize. She lives in Cambridge.