The Loneliness Files
“I was blown away not only by the writing, but by the adventurous and expansive concept stretched out across these essays. The Loneliness Files has a real opportunity to reshape and redefine what a cohesive, braided, essay collection can be.” ?Hanif Abdurraqib, Tin House Editor-at-Large
I am overwhelmingly lonely. And I cannot believe that doesn’t matter and I will not believe there are not scores of others like me.
What does it mean to be a body behind a screen, lost in the hustle of an online world? In our age of digital hyper-connection, Athena Dixon invites us to consider this question with depth, heart, and ferocity, investigating the gaps that technology cannot fill and confronting a lifetime of loneliness.
Living alone as a middle-aged woman without children or pets and working forty hours a week from home, more than three hundred and fifty miles from her family and friends, Dixon begins watching mystery videos on YouTube, listening to true crime podcasts, and playing video game walk-throughs just to hear another human voice. She discovers the story of Joyce Carol Vincent, a woman who died alone, her body remaining in front of a glowing television set for three years before the world finally noticed. Searching for connection, Dixon plumbs the depths of communal loneliness, asking essential questions of herself and all of us: How had her past decisions left her so alone? Are we, as humans, linked by a shared loneliness? How do we see the world and our place in it? And finally, how do we find our way back to each other?
Searing and searching, The Loneliness Files is a groundbreaking memoir in essays that ultimately brings us together in its piercing, revelatory examination of how and why it is that we break apart.