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Selfie

Will Storr

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$29.95



ISBN 13: 978-1-4683-1589-9
Trim Size: 6" x 9"
Hardcover
The Overlook Press
3/27/18

Product Description

By the author of The Unpersuadables, this thrilling and ambitious book explores the mysterious power of the self and reveals the danger of our modern obsession with it.

We live in the age of the individual. Every day, we’re bombarded with depictions of the beautiful, successful, slim, socially conscious, and extroverted individual that our culture has decided is the perfect self, and we berate ourselves when we don’t measure up. This model of the perfect self and the impossibly high standards it sets can be extremely dangerous. People are suffering under the torture of this impossible fantasy, and unprecedented social pressure is leading to increases in depression and suicide. Journalist and novelist Will Storr began to wonder about this perfect self that torments so many of us: Where does this ideal come from? Why is it so powerful? Is there any way to break its spell?

To answer these questions, Storr takes the reader on a journey from the shores of Ancient Greece, through the Christian Middle Ages, to the self-esteem evangelists of 1980s California, the rise of narcissism and the “selfie” generation, and right up to the era of hyper-individualism in which we live now. Selfie tells the epic tale of the person we all know so intimately―because it’s us.

“It’s easy to look at Instagram and selfie-sticks and shake our heads at millennial narcissism. But Will Storr takes a longer view. He ignores the easy targets and instead tells the amazing 2,500-year story of how we’ve come to think about our selves. A top-notch journalist, historian, essayist, and sleuth, Storr has written an essential book for understanding, and coping with, the 21st century.”
Nathan Hill, New York Times bestselling author of The Nix

“Storr continually delivers rich insights, historically grounded conclusions, and more contemporary deliberations on his subject’s relevance to the Trump campaign and how to stay hopeful living in a me-first world. Captivating, self-reflective research on our culture of rampant egocentricity.”
Kirkus


Will Storr is an award-winning novelist and long-form journalist. He has reported from refugee camps in Africa, war-torn rural Colombia, and remote Aboriginal communities in Australia. He is a contributing editor at Esquire, and his work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Observer, The Sunday Times, and The Guardian In 2012, he was presented with the Amnesty International award for his work on sexual violence against men. In 2013, his BBC radio series won the AIB award for best investigative documentary. He is author of The Unpersuadables (available from Overlook), Will Storr vs. The Supernatural and The Hunger and the Howling of Killian Lone.

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