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The Crack Magazine

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The Lonely City by Olivia Laing

Since we found ourselves in the pandemic hellscape we’ve been through for nearly two years now, it can feel strange to revisit media that was made before the turn of the decade (where are their masks?!). But The Lonely City, Olivia Laing’s exploration of loneliness and art, has only become more relevant since it was published in 2016. After moving to New York by herself, Laing was faced with the shameful experience of loneliness despite being surrounded by people. To cope with this, she delved into the work of the city’s loneliest artists, namely Andy Warhol, Valerie Solanos and David Wojnarowicz among others, exploring their personal histories and the way that isolation was presented in their work. From Laing’s retelling of the AIDs crisis, her insights on social media to her analysis of masks in Wojnarowicz’s work, The Lonely City is dedicated to anyone lonely, and at the tail-end of this year, it’s a must-read for all of us. MG

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