The Cooke Agency

Emily White
Lonely: Learning to Live with Solitude


Lonely by Emily WhiteIn the vein of The Noonday Demon, Manic, and Beautiful Boy, this boldly honest and elegantly written memoir—the first of its kind—reveals the painful and sometimes debilitating experience of living with chronic loneliness.

Despite having a demanding job, good friends, and a supportive family, Emily White spent many of her nights and weekends alone at home, trying to understand why she felt so disconnected from everyone. To keep up the façade of an active social life and hide the painful truth, the successful young lawyer often lied to those around her—and to herself. She was suffering from severe loneliness.

In this insightful, soul-baring, and illuminating memoir, White chronicles her battle to understand and overcome this debilitating condition, and contends that chronic loneliness deserves the same attention as other mental difficulties such as depression. “Right now, loneliness is something few people are willing to admit to,” she writes. “There’s no need for this silence, no need for the shame and self-blame it creates. There’s nothing wrong with loneliness, and we need to start acknowledging this through a wider and more open discussion of the state.”

By investigating the science of loneliness, challenging its stigma, encouraging other lonely people to talk about their experiences and defining one person’s experience, Lonely redefines how we look at loneliness and helps those afflicted see and understand their mood in an entirely new light, ultimately providing solace and hope.

Praise for Emily White’s Lonely:

National Bestseller
A Psychology Category Finalist for the 15th Annual Books for a Better Life Award

“A sophisticated inquiry.... The power of White’s story comes from the sweeping investment she has made in tracking and tackling her loneliness. White makes the case that loneliness deserves attention and respect as a legitimate condition.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Kudos to Emily White for having written that rare book which feels both necessary and evolutionary. Lonely is a masterwork on the topic, a memoir of deep insight and revelation.” —Alice Sebold

“Perhaps White’s bravery in exposing her own heart and soul, and her skill in integrating these experiences with expert findings, will bring loneliness out of the shadows and into the light of public discourse at last.” —Quill & Quire

“White’s book is at once a gripping memoir of her own struggles with loneliness, a thorough and insightful review of the findings of social-psychological research, and an informed examination of approaches to the remedy of loneliness. Lonely is the best single source for understanding loneliness of which I know. I strongly recommend Lonely to anyone concerned with loneliness in any way.” —Professor Emeritus Robert S. Weiss, University of Massachusetts—Boston

“An engrossing insider’s view of loneliness.... For anyone who has experienced loneliness—and who hasn’t?—or wants to know about loneliness, Emily White’s book, Lonely, is a fascinating, informative, and highly intelligent read. I recommend it highly.” —Professor Daniel Perlman, University of North Carolina—Greensboro

“A deeply insightful text, Emily White’s very personal and moving story about her experience of loneliness is passionate yet factual. By providing scientific explanations for her experience of loneliness, she succeeds in writing a book that is more than a simple self-help guide, offering hope to anyone suffering from this debilitating condition that solutions are possible.” —Professor Mima Cattan, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne

Genre/Category: Memoir/Psychology
Length: 352 pp

Brazilian rights, Ediouro
Canadian rights, McClelland & Stewart
Estonian rights, Pilgrim Group
Italian rights, Mondadori
Portuguese (Portugal only) rights, Bertrand
Spanish rights, Santillana
US rights, HarperCollins

For all other rights contact The Cooke Agency.


Emily White is a research lawyer, university instructor, and freelance writer. Her award-winning fiction and non-fiction has appeared in Adbusters, The Ecologist, Chatelaine, and The Journey Prize Collection. She lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Emily White’s website can be found at