How We Break: Navigating the Wear and Tear of Living

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Product Details
$30.00  $27.90
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publish Date
5.91 X 9.06 X 1.26 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author
Vincent Deary is a practitioner health psychologist and professor of health psychology at Northumbria University, where his research focuses on the development of new psychosocial interventions for people with a variety of health issues, including cancer survivors and the elderly. A clinician in the UK's first transdiagnostic Fatigue Clinic, he works as part of a multidisciplinary team to help people for whom fatigue is a disabling symptom. He is the author of How We Are, the first book in the How to Live trilogy. He lives in Newcastle Upon Tyne in the North of England.

"Deary's flexible, 'dimensional' approach makes room for varied individual experience ('our breaking, like our world, will be our own') and lays fertile ground for sensitive, analytical musings . . . An empathetic and searching meditation on some of humanity's deepest psychological questions." --Publishers Weekly

"Much-needed . . . A particular strength of the book is the way Deary weaves between different schools of thought within psychology, philosophy and religion. The result is not merely a discussion of abstract ideas, but a collection of valuable observations about what it means to be human in the modern world . . . A cathartic meditation on just how difficult life can be . . . Deary makes a compelling argument as to the necessity of self-compassion. He leads us to a more humane understanding of our suffering and offers practical advice for navigating life's ups and downs with greater grace and equanimity." --Alex Curmi, The Guardian (UK)

"Deary's exhilarating new book mixes science, philosophy and memoir to argue that self-acceptance is our best defence against the stress of living . . . Deary's writing is wise and compassionate, sometimes florid and always interesting--few writers could jump so nimbly between Proust and RuPaul, neuroscience and the occult . . . Deary's is the rare book that helps you see the world a little differently." --Sophie McBain, New Statesman (UK)

"This essential self-exploration underlines the deeply humane plea which is the heartbeat of the book: for more self-compassion." --Bel Mooney, Daily Mail (UK)

"Urgent . . . Reading this book had me re-reaching for F. Scott Fitzgerald's seminal essays on his own 'crack-up, ' not least because the speculative cadences of some of Deary's metaphors are reminiscent of those pieces . . . The self-help wisdom here is properly caveated and hard-won." --Tim Adams, The Guardian (UK)

"[Deary's] understanding extends beyond the purely conceptual, emanating from first-hand
experience of almost a year of post-viral fatigue . . . [He] challenges our cultural tendency to view work and rest as opposing forces . . . In those moments when we may be tempted to do it all anyway, Prof Deary offers a thought experiment that just might be a game-changer: 'Think of what you value in the people that you care about. I'll bet you don't say, 'I love you because you're so darn productive.'" --Niamh Jiminez, Irish Times

"Lyrical and ultimately uplifting . . . from [a] personal base, we range outwards, via Deary's polymathic referencing of literature . . . it's all done with a light and self-deprecating touch. Deary's last message is optimistic. When we do break, healing--or acceptance--is (often) within our grasp, but it may require a 'fundamental reorientation of our outlook." --Isabel Berwick, Financial Times