The Loneliness Files
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About the Author
Athena Dixon is a poet, essayist, and editor. Her work is included in the anthology The BreakBeat Poets Vol.2: Black Girl Magic and her craft work appears in Getting to the Truth: The Craft and Practice of Creative Nonfiction. Athena is an alumna of VONA, Callaloo, and Tin House and has received a prose fellowship from The Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, Athena now resides in Philadelphia.
Overflowing with affection and humanity even as it examines difficult subjects, The Loneliness Files is one of those all-too-rare treats: a memoir to converse with. It is musical, truthful, and as I read, I left notes in the margins, re-examined my own experience of the global Pandemic, and let the conversation re-shape my present. This book is a true gem, and only a superior essayist could have created it. Instead of putting it down when I finished, I flipped right back to page 1 and started over.--Alex Jennings, author of The Ballad of Perilous Graves
Haunting, affecting, and searingly smart, Athena Dixon's The Loneliness Files is both a mirror and soundtrack for our times. She offers us, in prose both lyrical and hypnotic, insights so unflinching they left me breathless. This book goes beyond one woman's loneliness to illuminate essential truths about our collective aloneness.--Jeannine Ouellette, author of The Part that Burns
The rare exploration of internet existence that sounds like it has something urgent to say.-- "The Millions, A Most Anticipated Book of 2023"
With lyrical, memorable prose, Dixon cracks open the fear of not being remembered. . . . Her story is not only relatable, but significant, as she creates a sense of comfort for anyone who feels a little lonely sometimes. An honest and captivating investigation into human connection within an increasingly digital world.-- "Kirkus Reviews"
An indelible portrait of contemporary isolation that soothes and slices with the same steady hand.-- "Publishers Weekly"
Moving and lyrical.-- "Booklist"
Dixon's searing vulnerability shines.-- "The Amsterdam News"
Vulnerable, visceral. . . . Reflective yet urgent, reverberating with feeling. Dixon beautifully articulates how loneliness is paradoxically a narrative that people experience together.-- "Library Journal, Starred Review"
Athena Dixon is my favorite sort of writer: Startlingly direct, vulnerable, and astonishingly honest. In The Loneliness Files, Dixon invites us to sit on her sofa with her, and with unflinching humility, reveals to us that her fear of dying alone is only eclipsed by her fear of not being remembered. I can assure you that anyone who reads The Loneliness Files will not be able to forget Dixon or her extraordinarily relatable journey.--Laura Cathcart Robbins, author of Stash: My Life In Hiding
Dixon's writing is powered by a certainty that she is not the only one who feels the way she describes, and that there is a value in straightforwardly and vulnerably saying so.-- "Brooklyn Rail"
Her essays hold eloquent portrayals of the most common and quiet feelings of loneliness. But most compelling, they resist a tragic end. Though her words may have readers diving deep into what it means to be lonely, they're likely to resurface with practical ways forward.-- "Common Good"
Cracks open some of life's most fundamental questions through the lens of loneliness.-- "Hippocampus Magazine"
Intimate. . . . Engaging. . . . leaves readers contemplating not just loneliness but also hope and possibility long after reading The Loneliness Files. In that contemplative state, perhaps we find ourselves connected in some way.-- "West Trade Review"
I felt so seen in Dixon's memoir. What a relief--I'm not the only one who feels so lonely.-- "Hobart Pulp"
Vulnerable . . . .An essential exploration of the isolation inherent in our era of virtual hyperconnection [that] also asks how we can find our way back to one another.-- "New York Times Book Review"
Thought-provoking. . . . What makes The Loneliness Files an engrossing, often astonishing read is the author's admirable candor. By excavating her discomfort and divulging her most vulnerable longing, Dixon generates a higher, rarer level of connection with the reader--and that seems a powerful legacy.-- "Chicago Review of Books"
With a sharp attention to language befitting her background as a poet, she brings the reader deep into her life's experiences.-- "Electric Literature"