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For over a year and a half, most of us have grappled with some level of isolation. Author and illustrator Kristen Radtke offers a comprehensive account of loneliness, arguing it became an epidemic in the U.S. far before the COVID-19 pandemic. Seamlessly flipping between stories from her personal life and examples from pop culture and history, Radtke explores the relationship between loneliness and longing, and what happens when we shut ourselves off from the rest of the world. It’s a haunting read told through Radtke’s spare prose and often devastating graphics, coalescing into a powerful examination of why it can feel so hard to connect with other people.

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