“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.”
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.
“Harris writes in an elegant, accessible and often hilarious way.”
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
Reading Harris’s book is like smashing your Google Glasses and looking
through your unique lenses for the first time. This enjoyable, quirky probe
into current brain science, psychology, and philosophy hugely contributes
to the global “Great Turning” toward a more diverse, durable future of
freer people enjoying themselves more, both together and alone.
—William Powers, award-winning author of Twelve by Twelve: A One Room
Cabin, Off the Grid & Beyond the American Dream and New Slow City: Living
Simply in the World’s Fastest City
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
Doubleday Canada, April 2017
Thomas Dunne, US, April 2017