The Lonely City by Olivia Laing

The Lonely City by Olivia Laing


The Lonely City - Adventures in the Art of Being Alone


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.


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.




‘Luminously wise and deeply compassionate … a fierce and essential work.’ - Helen Macdonald.


'Triumphant … a brave writer whose books open up fundamental questions about life and art.' - Telegraph


'Wonderfully freewheeling … constantly surprising … inspired.' - Guardian


'Unusually brave … Sublime.' - The Times


'A new kind of literature … Endlessly, compulsively fascinating.' - New Statesman


Shortlisted for the 2016 Gordon Burn Prize 

Chosen as a 'book of the year' by: 

~Irish Times
~New Statesman
~Times Literary Supplement



  • Details

    Imprint: Canongate 

    Publication Date: 2 March 2017

    ISBN: 9781782111252

    Pages: 366

    Format: Paperback

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