- date of publication: 27.09.2021
- 160 Pages
- Hanser Berlin
- ISBN 978-3-446-26792-3
- Deutschland: 20,00 €
- Österreich: 20,60 €
- E-Book ISBN 978-3-446-27181-4
- E-Book Deutschland: 4,99 €
What does it mean to be alone?
Daniel Schreiber explores a way of life and a feeling we all know.
The new publication by one of the most original German-language thinkers and most elegant essayists.
At no time have so many people lived alone, and never has it been more elementary to feel the brutality of loneliness brought about by a self-determined life. But can we ever be happy alone? And why, in a society of individualists, is living alone perceived as a shameful failure?
Drawing on his own experiences, philosophical and sociological ideas, Daniel Schreiber explores the tension between the desire for retreat and freedom, and that for closeness, love and community. In doing so, he illuminates the role that friendships play in this way of life. Can they be a response to the loss of meaning in a world in crisis? A profoundly enlightening book on how we want to live.
“Daniel Schreiber’s book-length essay Alone is an inventory of this emotional state – in a radically personal style. (…) He skilfully interweaves personal observations with cultural-historical reflections and current findings from psychology, social research, queer studies and medical science – and he does this very effortlessly, in a way that only Anglo-American essayists, from Hannah Arendt to Rebecca Solnit, know how to.”
- Nina Apin, Die Tageszeitung, 25.09.2021
“Daniel Schreiber is one of the most interesting essayists in our country because he consistently manages to engage in topics indicative of our time, viewed through the lens of his own experience without narcissistic navel-gazing. (…) This great essay on friendship, which, in the first 60 pages, asks what constitutes good, nurturing relationships, is well worth reading. However, the book then takes on a completely different force because in these winter weeks of quiet private sadness, the pandemic breaks out. (…) And then, the book becomes a chronicle of our collective experience of loneliness.”
- Alex Rühle, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 30.09.2021
“Shifting between philosophical essay and personal memoir, Schreiber explores existential questions that have become submerged in the flood of books about relationships and friendship. (…) With insightful excursions into queer, pandemic and suicidal loneliness, Schreiber focuses on the special problem of “ambiguous loss”. This is a cheerful-slash-melancholic protest against the relentless optimism propagated by the personal coaching craze, which claims that we can achieve anything. But what if we can’t? That’s what Schreiber asks – in words so honest that they hurt and heal at the same time.”
- Marie-Luise Goldmann, Die Literarische Welt, 03.10.2021
Netherlands (Nieuw Amsterdam), UK/USA (Reaktion Books), Italy (ADD Editore), South Korea (Bada Books)