Solitude: A Return to the Self – Anthony Storr

Solitude was a book I’d discovered while I was wandering around books in one of my favourite bookshops in London. I thought Solitude, as a title, was very striking so I picked it up and started to read the back cover. The first sentence I read was from one of my favourite writers, Anita Brookner. I knew I had to read this as soon as I saw her name. And also the fact that I’ve always love to be a loner arouse my curiosity.


Solitude A Return to the Self - Anthony Storr

This book brings excellent news for those who, whatever their reasons for doing so, live alone… It is heartening to find a psychiatrist of Dr Storr’s eminence diverging from the received wisdom.

Anita Brookner, Spectator

When I spend a lot of time with people, I feel tired and a little bit depressed. (And I’m sure most of you can relate.) I have found this book in one of those periods that I would like to spend time with myself, so I bought it without thinking much. I was expecting a panegyric on the greatness of solitude from the book, and I was going to spend lovely hours with it by myself. It was a book that didn’t match my expectations nonetheless it was perfect and very informative.

Solitude A Return to the Self - Anthony Storr

Solitude and Creativity

In Solitude, the famous psychiatrist Anthony Storr refutes the thesis that happiness only depends on successful human relations. We have all heard that happiness can only be achieved through successful human relationships for years, and we have worked hard on it. But I do not believe that this is the only source of happiness after Storr’s book and all my experience. I’m sure you’ll think very differently after reading this book as well.

Solitude A Return to the Self - Anthony Storr

In Solitude, Storr examines famous figures such as Beethoven, Kipling, Goya, Saki, Henry James and many more and touches upon the reasons for their creativity. This is a perfect non-fiction book that you will read with curiosity from the beginning to end. You will be amazed at what a powerful mind can overcome, and you will reconsider your relationship with loneliness. A must read. Enjoy!


About the book: Solitude

Originally published in 1988, Anthony Storr’s bestselling meditation on the creative individual’s need for solitude has become a classic. A pre-eminent work in self-help and popular psychology literature, Solitude was seminal in challenging the psychological paradigm that “interpersonal relationships of an intimate kind are the chief, if not the only, source of human happiness.” Indeed, most self-help literature still places relationships at the center of human existence. Lucid and lyrical, Storr’s book argues that solitude ranks alongside relationships in its impact on an individual’s well-being and productivity, as well as on society’s progress and health. Citing numerous examples of brilliant scholars and artists–from Beethoven and Kant to Anne Sexton and Beatrix Potter–he argues that solitary activity is essential not only for geniuses, but often for the average person as well. For nearly three decades, readers have found inspiration and renewal in Storr’s erudite, compassionate vision of the human experience–and the benefits and joy of solitude.

About the author: Anthony Storr

Anthony Storr was an English psychiatrist and author. He was a child who was to endure the typical trauma of early 20th century UK boarding schools. He was educated at Winchester, Christ’s College, the University of Cambridge and Westminster Hospital. He qualified as a doctor in 1944 and subsequently specialised in psychiatry.

Solitude A Return to the Self - Anthony Storr

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

A Non-Fiction a Month

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