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 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022—Cosmopolitan, She Reads
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.
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.