The Lonely Hunter: How Our Search for Love Is Broken: A Memoir (Paperback)
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When can we say we’ll be single forever—and that’s okay? One woman questions our society’s pathologizing of loneliness in this crackling, incisive blend of memoir and cultural reporting.
“The Lonely Hunter challenged everything I assumed about the nature of loneliness and what it means to lead an authentic life.”—Doree Shafrir, author of Thanks for Waiting and Startup: A Novel
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Cosmopolitan
One evening, thirtysomething writer Aimée Lutkin found herself at a dinner party surrounded by couples. When the conversation turned to her love life, Lutkin stated simply, “I don’t really know if I’m going to date anyone ever again. Some people are just alone forever.” Her friends rushed to assure her that love comes when you least expect it and to make recommendations for new dating apps. But Lutkin wondered, Why, when there are more unmarried adults than ever before, is there so much pressure to couple up? Why does everyone treat me as though my real life won’t start until I find a partner? Isn’t this my real life, the one I’m living right now? Is there something wrong with me, or is there something wrong with our culture?
Over the course of the next year, Lutkin set out to answer these questions and to see if there really was some trick to escaping loneliness. She went on hundreds of dates; read the sociologists, authors, and relationship experts exploring singlehood and loneliness; dove into the wellness industrial complex; tossed it all aside to binge-watch Netflix and eat nachos; and probed the capitalist structures that make alternative family arrangements nearly impossible.
Chock-full of razor-sharp observations and poignant moments of vulnerability, The Lonely Hunter is a stirring account of one woman’s experience of being alone and a revealing exposé of our culture’s deep biases against the uncoupled. Blazingly smart, insightful, and full of heart, this is a book for anyone determined to make, follow, and break their own rules.
About the Author
Aimée Lutkin is a writer, director, and performer from New York City, where she was born and raised. Her writing has been featured on Jezebel, Marie Claire, and Glamour online, among other places.
“A blend of memoir and reportage, The Lonely Hunter will convince you that our ‘search for love is broken,’ whether you’re single or not.”—Vogue
“An insightful and thorough investigation into one woman’s loneliness and the systemic ways we’re all becoming less connected . . . It might seem like a depressing topic, but I laughed so hard and learned so much.”—Blythe Roberson, author of How to Date Men When You Hate Men
“In unflinching, honest prose that deftly weaves sociological and cultural analysis with her personal journey, The Lonely Hunter challenged everything I assumed about the nature of loneliness and what it means to lead an authentic life . . . A deeply relatable story that will resonate with readers, lonely or not.”—Doree Shafrir, author of Thanks for Waiting and Startup
“Wry, smart, full of bittersweet detail and vivid scenes, The Lonely Hunter is engaging without giving in to easy answers and is willing to ask the big questions—what makes a good life, and what do we want from each other?”—Rosalie Knecht, author of the Vera Kelly novels
“At once heartbreaking and deeply funny, Lutkin’s The Lonely Hunter captures the essence of seemingly endless singlehood in a world built for couples. As vulnerable as she is illuminative, Lutkin achieves what so many of us singles are looking for—she makes us feel less alone.”—Rebecca Fishbein, author of Good Things Happen to People You Hate
“I’m not sure how one could read The Lonely Hunter and NOT fall in love with Aimée Lutkin! Her memoir is at once a tender, vivacious consideration of modern romance and an incisive cultural study of American loneliness—a great and heartwarming achievement.”—Rachel Vorona Cote, author of Too Much
“A brilliant reframing of the cultural narrative around singledom with an impassioned defense of its pleasures…With sparkling intellect and wit, Lutkin argues that being single can be just as life-giving as companionship.”—Publishers Weekly