Monday, June 21, 2010
LONELY: LEARNING TO LIVE WITH SOLITUDE by Emily White (2010)
I heard Emily White interviewed on CBC radio when the book launched and was intrigued enough to request a copy from the Toronto Public Library which I picked up on the weekend.
LONELY opens with the UCLA Loneliness Scale, a form with about a dozen questions that prompts you to rate yourself on a frequency scale from 1 (never) to 4 (always). Although the form smacks of a Cosmo survey, White does return time and again to empirical evidence and scientific studies about loneliness and how to distinguish it from clinical depression.
I was more interested in reading about her story, the memoir part of the book, rather than being educated about loneliness research. I didn't mind the inclusion of conversations with other lonely people, but at times found it all a little too precious. What irked me most about the book was how this previously heterosexual woman could only find the antidote to her loneliness in the company of a beautiful lesbian with whom she now lives in St. John's.