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Kristen Radtke is a brooder; few would call her a blithe spirit. I can relate. Kristen archives result is another resonant, haunting volume of graphic nonfiction written and drawn in the key of Edward Hopper. In choosing that for her title, Radtke alerts us that her memoir on loneliness is also about seeking others across wavelengths and asking them to listen — in other words, about the human impulse to connect. Her subject may be timely, but Radtke, the art director and deputy publisher of the Believer magazine, is never superficial or fleeting.
It encompasses personal and cultural history, journalism, social science and scientific research in psychology, neuroscience and evolutionary biology.
Alison Bechdel tried to write a light book. Fortunately, she failed. To meld her various strands, Radtke overlays informative, hand-lettered text on full- illustrations washed in brown, orange or charcoal. There are collages of things like glaring political s, Twitter feeds or tabloid headlines about mass shooters characterized as loners. Radtke cites studies that point to isolation as a prevalent health issue associated with an increased risk of death.
But she also considers the role of television laugh tracks in easing loneliness, along with a British helpline for lonely seniors that fields more than 10, calls a week.
She notes that isolation is in our national DNA, going back to the idealization of lonesome cowboys in old Western movies. Radtke is careful to distinguish between being alone aloneness and feeling lonely lonelinessand to make clear that one can feel lonely even when surrounded by loved ones.
Loneliness lives in the gap. When we were quarantined.
Over the last three months, 17 writers provided diaries to the Times of their days in isolation, followed by weeks of protest. This is their story. In a book divided into sections titled Listen, Watch, Click and Touch, the most disturbing examples of isolation involve the dire repercussions of limited physical contact.
Yet Radtke also acknowledges that his sadistic experiments proved the importance of love and changed the way children were raised.
McAlpin reviews books regularly for NPR. Review: Fear and flailing in L. Bestsellers List Sunday, July Katie Kitamura complicates the narrative. All Sections. About Us. B2B Publishing.
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By Heller McAlpin. Books Alison Bechdel tried to write a light book.
Books When we were quarantined. More From the Los Angeles Times. Books Review: Fear and flailing in L. Books Bestsellers List Sunday, July Books Katie Kitamura complicates the narrative.Kristen archives
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Kristen Martin Archives