Book clinic: what books will help you come to terms with lifelong loneliness? Writing, like reading,

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Monday December 3, 2018 at 5:10am
Q: What books do you recommend for coming to terms with lifelong loneliness?

A: Amanda Craig, author and critic, writes:
Loneliness is so much a part of being both a writer and reader that it’s no wonder most of us are what Patrick Hamilton’s novel calls The Slaves of Solitude.

Shakespeare invented the word, Philip Larkin celebrated it, but Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719) was the first to live with loneliness. Shipwrecked on his desert island for 28 years, he builds shelter, finds God and discovers companionship through compassion. Jane Gardam’s Crusoe’s Daughter draws on this robust example through Polly Flint, who transcends her isolation through reading and liberalism.

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