Loneliness is one of the universal human emotions, yet is complex and unique to each and every one of us. Natalie Eve Garrett has curated an engaging and cathartic collection of personal essays from twenty-two writers reflecting on loneliness, aloneness, isolation, emptiness, solitude, and more. In bringing together this wide range of perspectives, The Lonely Stories revels in an emotion often feared and marked by stigma, providing essential companionship and comfort in our times of need. Imani Perry confronts chronic illness. Yiyun Li explores her relationship with language, both private and public. Jhumpa Lahiri reveals the ways books have offered her consolation in times of loneliness.
Through these ruminations, we are all called to reevaluate the most primal parts of our being—our connections to others and our relationships with ourselves. The Lonely Stories has created a space for our most vulnerable stories, allowing for introspective reflection and consolation in our collective loneliness, a feeling that will continue to affect us throughout our lives. This collection eagerly hopes to remind us that we are not alone in feeling alone. And I think Maggie Shipstead puts it best, “If I ever find myself alone on a mountain or lost at sea, nearing the vanishing point on the horizon, I hope someone will come to keep me company, even if it’s only myself.”