Who’s giving the opening address at The Sydney Writers’ Festival? Andrew Solomon. Let Jo Case & President Bill Clinton tell you why #SWF2014

Order Far From the TreeAndrew Solomon’s Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity is a truly amazing labour of love – and one of my favourite books of the past decade. Over seven years, Solomon has interviewed over 300 families where parents have children who are different from themselves in a defining way, across ten different categories, including deafness, dwarves, autistic and criminal children. He expertly weaves the diverse experience of these families into a narrative whole, looking at how parents come to love and accept children who are not what they expected, and to see the surprising positives in some of the most daunting challenges.

To what degree do these parents accept their children as they are, try to cure them, or a blend of both? What is it like to inhabit those identities, here and now? And (perhaps most intriguingly), is it better to get by in the mainstream world, with effort, but always be aware of not quite fitting in, or to relax into your natural self in a marginal world?

I was sucked into this book from the first page because of the masterful storytelling – a regular New Yorker writer, Solomon exemplifies the world-class reportage that the magazine is famous for. But I was left thinking about it for weeks and months afterwards because of the way Solomon explores questions at the heart of what makes us human, through the subject of parenting under challenging circumstances. Sometimes, he suggests, when we are forced to work harder for something, we value it even more.

Review by Jo Case, author of Boomer and Me: A memoir of motherhood, and Asperger’s

In Far from the Tree, Andrew Solomon reminds us that nothing is more powerful in a child’s development than the love of a parent. This remarkable new book introduces us to mothers and fathers across America –many in circumstances the rest of us can hardly imagine–who are making their children feel special, no matter what challenges come their way.

President Bill Clinton

Andrew Solomon will be giving the Opening Address at the Sydney Writers’ Festival on 20th May 2014 – for more details click the banner below…

BOOK NOW: 2014 Opening Address: Andrew Solomon

Order Far From the Tree

Far From the Tree

Sometimes your child – the most familiar person of all – is radically different from you. The saying goes that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. But what happens when it does?

In this seminal new study of family, Andrew Solomon tells the stories of parents who learn to deal with their exceptional children and find profound meaning in doing so.

He introduces us to families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, disability, with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are transgender. While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, Solomon documents repeated triumphs of human love and compassion to show that the shared experience of difference is what unites us.

Drawing on interviews with over three hundred families, Solomon documents ordinary people making courageous choices, whether considering prenatal screening for genetic disorders, cochlear implants for the deaf, or gender reassignment surgery.
Parents and children are challenged to their limits, but often grow closer as a result; many discover supportive communities of others similarly affected; some are inspired to become activists, celebrating the conditions they once feared.

Elegantly reported by a spectacularly original thinker, Far From The Tree explores themes of generosity, acceptance and tolerance – and shows how love for one’s children can transcend every prejudice. This crucial and revelatory book expands our definition of what it is to be human.

Photo by Annie Leibovitz.

Photo by Annie Leibovitz.

About the Author

Andrew Solomon is a writer and activist working on politics, culture and psychology. He writes regularly for The New YorkerNewsweek, and The Guardian. He is a Lecturer in Psychiatry at Cornell University and Special Adviser on LGBT Affairs to Yale University’s Department of Psychiatry. The Noonday Demon won the 2001 National Book Award and was a finalist for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize. His highly-acclaimed study of family, Far from the Tree won the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction, the Lukas Book Prize and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, among others. He lives with his husband and son in New York and London.

 

As seen in SMH & THE AGE > Books that changed me: Andrew Solomon

REVIEWS:

Far from the Tree is a landmark, revolutionary book. It frames an area of inquiry ‐difference between parents and children–that many of us have experienced in our own lives without ever considering it as a phenomenon. Andrew Solomon plumbs his topic thoroughly, humanely, and in a compulsively readable style that makes the book as entertaining as it is illuminating–

Order Far From the Tree

 Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize– winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad

Andrew Solomon has written a brave and ambitious work, bringing together science, culture and a powerful empathy. Solomon tells us that we have more in common with each other– even with those who seem anything but normal– than we would ever have imagined.

Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers and The Tipping Point

This is a monumental book, the kind that appears once in a decade. It could not be a better example of the literature of diversity.

Steven Pinker, fucking genius and author of The Blank Slate 

‘Reading Far from the Tree is a mind-opening experience.’ Eric Kandel

‘Andrew Solomon’s investigation of many of the most intense challenges that parenthood can bring compels us all to re-examine how we understand human difference. Perhaps the greatest gift of this monumental book, full of facts and full of feelings, is that it constantly makes one think, and think again.’ Philip Gourevitch

 After all that, how can you not want to order a copy of Far from the Tree from Booktopia right now…? Click Here

Craig Harper, author of Pull Your Finger Out, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

pull-your-finger-outThe Booktopia Book Guru asks

Craig Harper

author of Pull Your Finger Out

Ten Terrifying Questions

1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born in the thriving, bustling metropolis of… Ballarat. I am a needy, attention-seeking only child. I was raised in Tasmania, rural Victoria and various suburbs of Melbourne. My family moved a lot. I think my parents were trying to avoid the law.

2. What did you want to be when you were 12, 18 and 30? And why?

At 12, I wanted to be skinny. I was a fat kid. A whopper, in fact. At 18, I wanted to be a bodybuilder, gym owner and chick magnet. All very unlikely outcomes. At 30 I wanted to be less tired and stressed because I was a gym owner, coach and teacher who worked way too many hours. Continue reading

THE GOOD LIFE: What makes a life worth living? (Guest Blogger – Hugh Mackay)

Hugh Mackay, psychologist, social researcher and writer, blogs about the basis of his wonderful new book The Good Life.

What comes to mind when someone says ‘the good life’? Comfort and prosperity? A chance to cash in your chips, retire to the coast and put your feet up? A life enriched by the love of your family and friends? A life where dreams come true?

How about a life lived for others, a life devoted to serving the neediest members of society, or a life of self-sacrifice? Those are equally valid ways of interpreting ‘good’ – giving it a moral spin rather than an economic or emotional one.

Given our society’s current obsession with feel-good definitions of happiness, and the damage we’re inflicting on our kids by teaching them that self-esteem is their most precious possession, it’s not surprising that our minds tend to leap to self-serving interpretations of ‘good’. This, after all, is the Age of Me – an ugly blip in our cultural history where competition usually gets more marks than co-operation, and self-interest is rated more highly than self-sacrifice. Look after Number One! – that’s the slogan we like to chant. Winners are grinners! and ‘loser’ the ultimate insult.

But that’s not the whole Story of Us. In a civil society, where most people are quite interested in upping the goodness quotient in their lives, we can learn to tame (not slay, just tame) the savage beast of self-interest. Yes, we humans can be ruthlessly competitive, aggressive and violent, but we have nobler impulses as well: we’re also the kind of people who fight off a shark to save a mate; jump off a river bank to rescue a stranger; return a wallet full of cash, anonymously; help a frail person cross a busy street; defend the victims of prejudice; volunteer to take refugees into our homes.

Deep within us, we know the survival of our communities – the survival of the species itself – depends on paying more attention to that insistent message that comes to us from every religious and moral tradition of East and West: treat other people the way you’d like to be treated. (Some people find the so-called Golden Rule makes more sense in the negative: never treat others in ways you would not like to be treated.)

If we fall for the idea that the good life is only about having a good time, or ‘doing well’, or even being ‘happy’ (in the superficial emotional sense), our moral compass is bound to wobble. As I say at the end of the book: ‘No one can promise you that a life lived for others will bring you a deep sense of satisfaction, but it’s certain that nothing else will.’

Click here to buy The Good Life from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

Hugh Mackay is a prolific and well-known social researcher, writer and commentator in Australia. A newspaper columnist for over 25 years, he is now an honorary professor of social science at the University of Wollongong, the author of nine books in the field of social psychology and philosophy and five novels.

Jesse Fink, author of Laid Bare: One Man’s Story of Sex, Love and Other Disorders, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

 The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Jesse Fink

author of Laid Bare: One Man’s Story of Sex, Love and Other Disorders

Ten Terrifying Questions

———————————–

1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born in London in 1973, where I stayed for six months before my mother’s relatives demanded I be brought home. ­­­So my Australian parents sold all their things and moved to Sydney. I grew up in Balmoral Beach, then, when my parents divorced in 1979, I moved with my mother to Balmain. Back then it was still a rough-and-tumble wharfies’ suburb. Dawn Fraser ran the Riverview Hotel across the road. I went to Fort Street High School in Petersham. I consider myself a Balmain boy at heart even though I now live in the east and rarely leave Darlinghurst or Potts Point. Balmain people from that era stay Balmain people for life, wherever they end up.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

At twelve I wanted to be a cartoonist; at eighteen Henry Miller, living in Paris and making love to women that looked like Françoise Hardy; at thirty I was still entertaining ideas of being a writer and running off to Europe with my family and British passport but had yet to get out of book editing and take the leap into full-time writing. That opportunity came much later. I’ve always been artistic and drawn to writers, filmmakers, painters, musicians, booksellers, dancers…

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

That Woody Allen was the greatest filmmaker in the universe. Manhattan changed my life. I prefer Spanish, Mexican and South American cinema now. City of God and Amores Perros are films that could never have been made in the States.

4. What were three big events – in the family circle or on the world stage or in your reading life, for example – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced you in your career path?

Françoise Hardy

One, I would say being the son of two artists: my mother was a well-known, internationally recognised glass artist; my father was a successful director of television commercials and later became a painter. His father was a landscape painter. My ex-wife was a singer. I’ve grown up around creative people and been surrounded by books, paintings and dusty old stacks of LPs all my life. My family has always been very encouraging about my career decisions and they’ve supported me through a lot, including the writing of Laid Bare. And that’s worth remarking on because there are parts of the book about them and not all of what I write is flattering. My divorce reopened some old wounds. But I am very grateful for everything they’ve done for me and my daughter, who’s called “Evie” in the book.

Two, meeting an English guy in a bar in Hamburg who offered me a job writing soccer columns for a TV network in Australia. That opportunity allowed me to close the door on my editing life and move into writing daily and getting well paid for it, even though I’d cut my teeth as a writer for Inside Sport and been up for some awards before then. But the columns raised my profile immeasurably, they gave me the opportunity to write my first book, 15 Days in June, and they changed my life in all sorts of ways – which I talk about in Laid Bare.

Third, reading writers such as Stephen Vizinczey, Max Frisch, Paul Theroux, James Lee Burke, David Lodge, Richard Russo, Robert Hughes, Peter Robb, Christopher Koch, the Amises. Reading their best books is an infinitely pleasurable experience.

There’s a line in Vizinczey’s In Praise of Older Women that inspired the narrative: “As love is an emotional glimpse of eternity, one can’t help half-believing that genuine love will last forever.” It opens Laid Bare.

5.  Considering the innumerable electronic media avenues open to you – blogs, online newspapers, TV, radio, etc – why have you chosen to write a book? Aren’t they obsolete?

Not at all. I’ve worked in pretty much every medium you mentioned and there’s nothing as fulfilling and challenging as writing a book. Blogs are not very difficult. I’ve written thousands on soccer and I had a good career doing it. But they’re ephemeral. Similarly, I’ve written a ton of magazine articles. People read them then forget about them. Books endure. They are tactile and treasured. When you write a book you feel you are contributing something just a little bit worthwhile to the sum of human knowledge. Nothing will ever replace the book as the most important medium for written expression. I admire anyone who has the dedication and skill to write a good book. Especially those people who do it without fat advances or any advances at all.

6.  Please tell us about your latest book…

I never set out to write Laid Bare. I hate the word “organically” but it really did begin organically. I was frustrated and bored with the limitations of my columns for Fox Sports and SBS Sport (I’d racked up about 500 by the time I left SBS, in July 2011) and wanted to write something substantial again after doing 15 Days in June in 2007 but didn’t know what or where to begin.

One day I went to the Darlo Bar in Sydney, ordered a glass of wine, took a seat outside and – like magic – just started writing about my breakup with my wife, who’s called “Lara” in the book. It had been the single most traumatic event of my life and I’d only recently started to feel at peace with what had happened. This was four years after the split. I didn’t set out to write it with any malice or for it to be cathartic. I just wanted to write. When I read back what I’d written later that evening I realised it was the best thing I’d ever done: raw, honest, drawn from experience rather than my head.

Those words would go on to land me a commission with marie claire magazine, which published an 800-word story of mine on how it feels to have your heart broken. It ran in the September 2011 issue with a huge, rather disconcerting picture of my face over a double-page spread. But it got an amazing response. I still get letters from women telling me they’d read the story and been touched by it. I took that story with a proposal to Hachette Australia and they saw the potential of developing it into a book that chronicled my experiences of separation and divorce plus my battles with OCD and depression, but also took in a broader theme of disconnected relationships in a world that is more connected than ever. Indeed the working title for the book was Disconnected Love. It took six months to write.

So Laid Bare covers a lot of bases apart from own story: the relevance of marriage, the wisdom of monogamy, the shortcomings of online dating, the intrusion of technology into our personal lives, decreasing intimacy in a world of instantly accessible pornography, the hidden mental and emotional lives of men, and much more. Ultimately, though, it’s a book about love – with some sex thrown in.

Click here to buy Laid Bare from Booktopia,
Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop

7. If your work could change one thing in this world – what would it be?

I hope people come away from reading Laid Bare having been challenged enough to perhaps start re-evaluating the choices they make or have made in their relationships, careers and sex lives. The message of the book is to take risks. Put your integrity at a premium. Be true to yourself. Lead a full life. It’s the only one you’ve got. Oh, and that it’s okay to screw up occasionally.

8. Whom do you most admire and why?

Michael McDonald, the former singer and keyboardist for the Doobie Brothers. Apart from possessing a heaven-sent voice and having an awesome shock of white hair he writes the most incredible and profoundly affecting songs about love. There was a golden period with the Doobies in the late 1970s when he wrote “What a Fool Believes”, “It Keeps You Runnin’” “Minute by Minute”, “Losin’ End”, “Nothin’ But a Heartache”, “How Do The Fools Survive?” and others. The common theme of all these songs was relationships. Love and loss. Being a romantic fool. I recognised myself in a lot of his lyrics. The songs spoke to me during a really dark time in my life. I never fail to be touched by his music from that 1976–’81 period with the Doobies. I listen to it every day. McDonald deserves much more recognition as an important artist. Not just as a musician. “Losin’ End” is used as the opening track in Laid Bare. The lyrics “Remember me/I was your fool for really quite a long time/’Til I found out how it feels to play/On the losin’ end” could qualify as the divorced man’s anthem. Each chapter has an accompanying track. I wish the book had come with a CD of the music that has inspired me. It would be full of McDonald songs.

9. Many people set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

To have a long-term relationship that can withstand everything that’s thrown at it. To have another kid. To run the Boston Marathon. To write more books: starting with a music biography or travel narrative. I have small, realistic goals and count myself lucky to just be here and be healthy again and be the father of a beautiful young girl.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

To develop the faculty of finely calibrated self-bullshit detection. To put up bookshelves and fill them with all sorts of books, not just the ones with nice covers. To read great writers such as Richard Russo and Christopher Koch. To listen to great music and look at great art. To bypass writing teachers (in my view, you learn to write by absorption and osmosis not instruction). And most of all to experience the world – not just different places but different tastes, different sounds, different jobs, different relationships, different situations. Get out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to say what you think. Take risks. Hearses don’t come with roof racks.

Jesse, thank you for playing.


Laid Bare: One Man’s Story of Sex, Love and Other Disorders

One man’s story of sex, love and other disorders.

Like a lot of men, Jesse Fink never thought it would happen to him.
But it did. His wife of 10 years and mother of his child walked out on him and into the arms of another man.
In that moment he lost his best friend, his soul mate, his family, his identity. His wife’s new lover even got his dog.
What came next was a freefall of the soul that would take him from contemplating cutting his wrists to sleeping with hundreds of women.

LAID BARE is a brutally honest account of one man’s emotional and mental oblivion after separation and divorce.

Jesse’s search for love and pleasure saw him jump headlong into the freewheeling and sometimes dangerous world of online dating. He visited brothels and massage parlours. He crossed the Pacific for doomed affairs. He disastrously moved in sight unseen with his high-school dream girl, a woman he hadn’t spoken to for 25 years but reunited with on Facebook. He flew off to Hollywood to connect with yet another beautiful woman he sparked with online and found himself in the kitchen of the real-life Bridget Jones. And he managed to get his heart broken all over again with a brilliant but turbulent young artist.

With remarkable frankness, Jesse opens up about his complicity in the failure of his marriage, his battles with OCD, his struggles as a single dad, his sex addiction and his desperate desire to find love. He shares it all the good, the bad and the ugly.

His chance at personal salvation finally comes in the unconditional love of his eight-year-old daughter.

This time, if he pays attention, he might just get it right.

Click here to buy Laid Bare from Booktopia,
Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop

Earlier this week we posted this…

Jesse Fink: The Top 5 Books I Would
and the Top 5 Books I Wouldn’t Want To See On A
Woman’s Dating Profile

…it caused a bit of a stir.

What is a Tool? by Phil Stutz, co-author of The Tools: 5 Life-Changing Techniques To Unlock Your Potential

The Tools is a new book by Phil Stutz and Barry Michels. 

Together they have helped their A-list clients work through whatever has held them back – be it insecurity, trauma, anger, willpower, negativity or avoidance – and achieve their greatest work and find a deep level of fulfilment.

Actor John Cusack tweeted this recently ‏: Follow Phil Stutz and his magical book – @TheToolsBook – he’s a master alchemist of the highest order – no joke. Read it!

The first question we asked was What Is A Tool?

Phil Stutz was happy to offer this answer…

What is a Tool? by Phil Stutz

In conventional psychotherapy, we talk about “insights” or “causation” and we tend to believe that if we can uncover the deep-seated reasons behind someone’s problems, then the person will change automatically. This implies that awareness alone creates the forces that cause change. But real change, the kind of change patients in therapy cry out for, means changing your behaviour, not just your attitude.

That requires much stronger forces. A tool is a technique or procedure that can generate a force that allows you to do the work of change. It is work that must be done in real time.  When do we use a tool? In the present.

Conventional therapy tends to be passive and focuses on the past. It excavates a patient’s history, usually from childhood, brings it into the light of day and interprets it so as to strip it of its unconscious power. I have the greatest respect for the past. Memories, emotions, insights can all be very valuable. But my patients needed help and relief in the present and all the insights in the world weren’t going to be powerful enough to deliver that.

To control your actions you need something else: a specific procedure you can use systematically to combat a specific problem — you need a tool.

There’s an obvious objection that arises here: Isn’t what you’re doing superficial? Sure, these tools of yours may help a patient change his or her behaviour but you haven’t addressed the underlying reasons. Unless you do that they’re bound to go back to their (self-) destructive ways sooner or later.

There are two answers to this objection. The first involves a misunderstanding of how people change. Insight into the “reasons” for a problem isn’t the cause of change – it’s the result. Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous have always known this. You don’t join AA and then sit around discussing why you drink too much over a few beers or vodka martinis. You join to stop drinking one day at a time. Only after that can you look into the roots of your addiction by “taking inventory.”

The second answer goes back to our original question about what a tool is. There has been a bias in psychotherapy implying that anything that is active and involves your will is superficial; as if the deepest part of human experience can only occur inside your head. The truth is the opposite; the deepest part of human experience happens when you interact with the world outside yourself. That means you need to go beyond thinking and into “doing”—and this is exactly what a tool makes possible.

Booktopia would like to thank Phil Stutz for sharing his thoughts with the Booktopia Blog and our readers.

Follow Phil and Barry on Twitter - click here

Click here to order The Tools from Booktopia,
Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop

The Tools: 5 Life-Changing Techniques To Unlock Your Potential

The new global phenomenon to help you break free from whatever is holding you back and finally fulfil your true potential, from the acclaimed psychotherapists behind Hollywood’s greatest talent.

Can you imagine what your life would be if you could tap into a new source of power – one that has been inside you all along – to solve your own problems and become the master of your life?

The Tools is an extraordinary psychological model based on the proven methods of Hollywood’s greatest psychotherapists. Dr Barry Michels and his mentor Dr Phil Stutz have over 60 years of psychotherapeutic experience between them. Together they have helped their A-list clients work through whatever has held them back – be it insecurity, trauma, anger, willpower, negativity or avoidance – and achieve their greatest work and find a deep level of fulfilment.

Now, at last, the acclaimed clinicians are sharing their methods in this eye-opening and empowering book.

Introducing their six simple techniques, including The Reversal of Desire, Active Love, Inner Authority and Jeopardy, the authors clearly explain what they are and how and when to use them. Astonishingly effective and beautifully simple, The Tools will give you everything you need to propel yourself forward to achieve your ambitions and be who you were born to be.

About the Authors

Phil Stutz graduated from City College in New York and received his MD from New York University. He worked as a prison psychiatrist on Rikers Island and then in private practice in New York before moving his practice to Los Angeles in 1982. Barry Michels has a BA from Harvard, a law degree from University of California, Berkeley and an MSW from the University of Southern California. He has been in private practice as a psychotherapist since 1980.

Click here to order The Tools from Booktopia,
Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop

REVIEW: This Is How by Augusten Burroughs (Guest Reviewer: Booktopia’s Andrew Cattanach)

In June, Augusten Burroughs will pop his spectacled noggin up over the horizon of the literary landscape once again with another treat for fans of his work and those fearful of it alike. In his new offering This Is How, Burroughs rips a hole in the starboard side of the self-help industry and takes it upon himself to be your very own agony uncle.

Using extraordinary life experiences that he previously drew upon to write the book that propelled him into a superstar, Running With Scissors, Burroughs takes aim at problems we all face, the great quandaries of the human condition. Topics like self-esteem, addiction, suicide and the 9 to 5 are subjected to his unique voice and signature black humour.

If you never thought you’d buy a self-help book rest assured this isn’t one. However it’s without a doubt more effective than any out there. You can read it as a memoir of sorts, or as a tongue in cheek anthropological study from the watchful eyes of a master word smith.

If you love the self help genre and see it as the putty that fills in the cracks, Burroughs’ treatment of edgy subjects are excellent, his wit and wisdom the implements with which to open your mind to new ways of thinking and living.

The key to This Is How is the over-riding feeling Burroughs is simply suggesting alternatives to the current channels, not screaming at you from the pages as so many life advice books do today. His humility is paramount as he almost apologetically tackles potential problems head on, aware to be simply another voice around the table, albeit the most compelling and sensible one out there in recent times.

This Is How never directs and never forces, and like Burroughs’ other acclaimed books it will take you through the full gambit of emotions in just a few treasure filled pages.

Augusten Burroughs wants you to know that you matter, just as he has discovered himself, and with a deft touch he’ll empower you to discover the beauty of your world and everything around it.

Guest Reviewer: Booktopia’s Andrew Cattanach

Click here to read all of Andrew’s Posts. Click here to follow Andrew on twitter.

Click here to order This is How from Booktopia,
Australia’s No. 1 Online Book Shop

——————————

This is How

by
Augusten Burroughs

From the New York Times bestselling author of Running With Scissors comes a groundbreaking book that explores how to survive the “unsurvivable”.

Augusten Burroughs has lived an unusual life, and has faced more than his fair share of humiliation, transformation and everything in between. This Is How is his noholdsbarred book of advice on topics as varied as:

  • How to feel like crap
  • How to ride an elevator
  • How to be thin
  • How to be fat
  • How to find love
  • How to feel sorry for yourself
  • How to get the job
  • How to end your life
  • How to remain unhealed
  • How to finish your drink
  • How to regret as little as possible

And much more

Told with Burroughs’ unique voice, black humour, and in-your-face advice, This is How is Running With Scissors – with recipes.

Click here to order This is How from Booktopia,
Australia’s No. 1 Online Book Shop

US hardcover edition also available from May 8th.
Click here for more details or to order.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Our lives are driven by a fact that most of us can’t name and don’t understand. It defines who our friends and lovers are, which careers we choose, and whether we blush when we’re embarrassed.

That fact is whether we’re an introvert or an extrovert, the introvert/extrovert divide is the most fundamental dimension of personality. And at least a third of us are on the introverted side. Some of the world’s most talented people are introverts. Without them we wouldn’t have the Apple computer, the theory of relativity and Van Gogh’s sunflowers.

Yet extroverts have taken over. Shyness, sensitivity and seriousness are often seen as being negative. Introverts feel reproached for being the way they are.

In Quiet, Susan Cain shows how the brain chemistry of introverts and extroverts differs, and how society misunderstands and undervalues introverts. She gives introverts the tools to better understand themselves and take full advantage of their strengths.

Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with real stories, Quiet will permanently change how we see introverts – and how you see yourself.

Click here to order Quiet from Booktopia

Quiet is a startling, important and readable page-turner that will make quiet people see themselves in a whole new light.’ Naomi Wolf, author of The Beauty Myth

‘Happiness is…… Quiet, an extraordinary book that will change forever the way society views introverts. Superbly researched and deeply insightful, Quiet is an indispensable resource for anyone who wants to understand the gifts of the introverted half of the population.’ Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project

Quiet legitimizes and even celebrates the ‘niche’ that represents half the people in the world. Think Malcolm Gladwell for people who don’t take themselves too seriously. Mark my words, this book will be a bestseller.’ Guy Kawasaki, author of Enchantment

‘Once in a blue moon, a book comes along that gives us startling new insights. Quiet is that book: part page-turner, part cutting-edge science, it will change the way you see yourself, other people, and the world.’ Adam Grant, the Wharton School of Business

An intriguing and potentially life-altering examination of the human psyche that is sure to benefit both introverts and extroverts alike.’ Kirkus Reviews

‘Gentle is powerful, and solitude is socially productive. These important counterintuitive ideas are among the many reasons to take Quiet to a quiet corner and absorb its brilliant, thought-provoking message.’ Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School, and author of Confidence

‘Those who value a quiet, reflective life will feel a burden lifting from their shoulders as they read Susan Cain’s eloquent and well documented paean to introversion.’ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow

‘An elegant and powerful plea for introversion. Quiet will open up a new and different conversation on how we need to empower the legions of people who are disposed to be quiet, reflective and sensitive.’ Brian Little, Cambridge University

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