A passionate, probing collection gathering nearly thirty years of groundbreaking reflection on culture and society alongside four new essays, by one of our most respected essayists and critics.
What is the internet doing to us? What is college for? What are the myths and metaphors we live by? These are the questions that William Deresiewicz has been pursuing over the course of his award-winning career. The End of Solitude brings together more than forty of his finest essays, including four that are published here for the first time.
Ranging widely across the culture, they take up subjects as diverse as Mad Men and Harold Bloom, significance of the hipster and the purpose of art. Drawing on the past, they ask how we got where we are. Scrutinizing the present, they seek to understand how we can live more mindfully and freely, and they pose two fundamental questions: What does it mean to be an individual, and how can we sustain our individuality in an age of networks and groups?
“thematically wide-ranging and bottomlessly rewarding”
“[Deresiewicz] constructs beautiful sentences which often remind me of the late novelist Philip Roth. Like Roth, Deresiewicz is whip smart, erudite, and an artisan of language….The End of Solitude is a treasure trove, a rich vein of lucid thinking from one of the most astute social critics working today.
“Deresiewicz eviscerates ‘groupthink’ in this razor-sharp collection….Deresiewicz anatomizes modern life with skill and fierce conviction. Readers will relish grappling with these erudite provocations.”