Solitude: In Pursuit of a Singular Life in a Crowded World by Michael Harris

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Michael Harris lives in Vancouver, Canada. He published Solitude: In Pursuit of a Singular Life in a Crowded World in April 2017, a non-fiction book midway between politics, social sciences & psychology. He is also the author of The End of Absence, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award for English-language non-fiction in 2014 and became a national bestseller. Discover a short biography of the author, his book, as well as its ratings and reviews.

Michael Harris is a writer and editor born in Canada in 1980.

He is a former staff editor for Vancouver Magazine and Western Living. He writes about media, civil liberties, and the arts. His writing has also appeared in The Washington Post, Wired, Salon, Huffington Post, The Globe and Mail, Xtra Vancouver, Maisonneuve, the National Post and The Walrus. 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.

His essay The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection, winner of the Governor General’s Award in 2014, was also long-listed for both the RBC Charles Taylor Prize and the B.C. National Nonfiction Award. It is about the constant connectivity of contemporary life. In his book, Michael explores the idea that lack and absence are actually human virtues being stripped from us.

Michael has also published the young adult novel Homo (2012), about a gay teenager struggling with coming out in high school.

Let’s discover today his latest book, Solitude: In Pursuit of a Singular Life in a Crowded World, an essay midway between politics, social sciences & psychology, published in April 2017.


With a foreword by Nicholas Carr, author of the Pulitzer Prize–finalist The Shallows.

Today, society embraces sharing like never before. Fueled by our dependence on mobile devices and social media, we have created an ecosystem of obsessive connection. Many of us now lead lives of strangely crowded isolation: we are always linked, but only shallowly so.

The capacity to be alone, properly alone, is one of life’s subtlest skills. Real solitude is a powerful resource we can call upon—a crucial ingredient for a rich interior life. It inspires reflection, allows creativity to flourish, and improves our relationships with ourselves and, unexpectedly, with others. Idle hands can, in fact, produce the extraordinary. In living bigger and faster, we have forgotten the joys of silence, and undervalued how profoundly it can revolutionize our lives.

This book is about discovering stillness inside the city, inside the crowd, inside our busy lives. With wit and energy, award-winning author Michael Harris weaves captivating true stories with reporting from the world’s foremost brain researchers, psychologists, and tech entrepreneurs to guide us toward a state of measured connectivity that balances quiet and companionship.

Solitude is a beautiful and convincing statement on the transformative power of being alone.





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