BOOK SYNOPSIS: 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.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Michael Harris is the author of The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection (HarperCollins, 2014). It won the 2014 Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction and became a national bestseller. He writes about media, civil liberties and the arts for dozens of publications, including The Washington Post, Wired, Salon, The Huffington Post and The Globe and Mail. His work has been a finalist for the RBC Taylor Prize, the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, the Chautauqua Prize, the CBC Bookie Awards and several National Magazine Awards. He lives in Vancouver with his partner, the artist Kenny Park.
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