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Lonely: A Memoir
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Lonely: A Memoir

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Description:

This boldly honest and elegantly written memoir reveals the painful and sometimes debilitating experience of living with chronic loneliness—the 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 her—and 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 research—as well as the incredibly moving accounts offered by numerous lonely men and women—White 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.

Product Details:
Author: Emily White
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: March 09, 2010
Language: English
ISBN: 0061765090
Product Length: 8.6 inches
Product Width: 5.8 inches
Product Height: 1.1 inches
Product Weight: 0.94 pounds
Package Length: 8.4 inches
Package Width: 5.8 inches
Package Height: 1.3 inches
Package Weight: 0.8 pounds
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Customer Reviews:
Average Customer Review:3.5 ( 22 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 found the following review helpful:

5Highly recommended!  Apr 03, 2010
By Teacher
If you are looking for tips on how to make friends, then look elsewhere. This is a well-written, well-researched, very interesting book which leaves you with a lot to consider. I've never read a book that so clearly addresses my feelings. Most books on loneliness assume that you are a social misfit and that you can turn your life around if you just smile, dress better, and "get out there" more. If this type of glib response to loneliness makes you cringe, then Emily White's book is for you. This is a serious but highly-readable book on why some people struggle to make connections.

25 of 27 found the following review helpful:

5One of the few...  Mar 14, 2010
By Avid Reader "austinreaderchick"
The author of this book mentions repeatedly that there are very few books written about loneliness. I work in the book biz, and she is correct about this.

Her work covers the subject thoroughly. She writes about all the varieties of loneliness: situational, emotional, chronic, etc. I think she does a great job at sensitively investigating the subject from all angles. By including her own experiences with severe loneliness, she personalizes the manner, which I think is important with this subject.

Chapter 7, "The Cohort Effect," about the prevalence of loneliness today, was incredibly well-written and worth the price of the book alone.

9 of 10 found the following review helpful:

5Very interesting and reassuring  Feb 07, 2011
By Big Time Reader
I went through a period of extreme loneliness several years ago and I went through all of the stages that Emily writes about in this book. It was very helpful to know that what I went through and how I dealt with it was totally normal.

I've been through depression and loneliness and but not always at the same time. They are two distinctly different experiences. Of course you can experience them together but they can also be independent of one another. I liked seeing that acknowledged in this book because when I did mention feeling lonely I was told I was just depressed but that wasn't the case.

If you're looking for a straight memoir, this is not the book for you because she mixes her personal experiences with research. If you're interested in both a memoir and in what the research on loneliness has to say then this IS the book for you. I enjoyed the combination of research and personal information about her life. I could relate to a lot of what she went through.

4 of 4 found the following review helpful:

3NOT what one would consider a memoir  Feb 26, 2012
By margieebee
Much of the content of this book would not be considered memoir content- there is much more recitation of behavioral studies and statistics on loneliness and other lonely persons' stories collected by the author, than there is of her own personal experiences with loneliness. There is a great deal of repetition. Because of this, I skimmed large sections of this book. The most interesting chapters for me were "Truth: Struggling with Popular Notions of what Loneliness should be", "The Long Haul: Recognizing Chronic Loneliness as a Problem in Itself", and "Paradox: Loneliness and the Mystery of the Changing Self." You can really see how little resemblance this book bears to most memoirs from the chapter titles. Recommended to read, but probably not purchase.

6 of 7 found the following review helpful:

2Important subject, but way too long and repetitive  Jun 20, 2011
By Cynthia S. Lyman "CSL"
I appreciate this book was written to address a subject that is too often ignored or dismissed. However, the author seemed to repeat herself throughout the book--the valid points she made and her stories and statistics, could have been just as clearly conveyed in a book half the length. The book lacked a flow--the author alternated, seemingly randomly, between stories from her life, information she had gathered from others, and information she had found through research and studies. As much as I found some of the information she shared valuable, and as much as the author is clearly a skilled writer, the book just did not seem to have any sort of organizational structure, and probably because of that, the later chapters seemed especially redundant. I had a hard time finishing this book because I kept reading and reading, anticipating something new, and was consistently fed the same information from earlier chapters, just worded differently.

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