The Lonely CIty: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing

“Imagine standing by a window at night, on the sixth or seventeenth or forty-third floor of a building. The city reveals itself as a set of cells, a hundred thousand windows, some darkened and some flooded with green or white or golden light. Inside, strangers swim to and fro, attending to the business of their private hours. You can see them, but you can’t reach them, and so this commonplace urban phenomenon, available in any city of the world on any night, conveys to even the most social a tremor of loneliness, its uneasy combination of separation and exposure.”

Opening to The Lonely City by Olivia Laing





  1. This book looks so interesting I have a hold now placed on it at library. This author has a couple of other books in our library as well I will have a look at. Thanks for sharing the photos.

    1. I was very impressed with The Lonely City. I thought the writing was beautiful, the artist biographies included were fascinating. I’d love to hear what you think of it.

  2. BookerTalk says:

    I can relate to that quote having spent many a night alone in hotel rooms in strange cities because of business trips.

    1. I”ve spent many summers doing the same while attending workshops for teachers. It’s a strange sense of both being in a place and not quite in that place at the same time.

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