When You’re Lonely, Life is Very Long

another installment of Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything

Benjamen Walker
Mar 3, 2014 · 2 min read

Writer Olivia Laing didn’t plan on moving to New York alone, but after a few lonely months in the city she discovered the truth about loneliness, she says it is a gift. Laing wrote an essay on loneliness for Aeon magazine. She is also the author of The Trip to Echo Spring, which is one of the best books of the year — no contest.

Detail from The Hotel Room (1931) by Edward Hopper. Photo by Francis G. Mayer/Corbis

Eric Klinenberg says more and more people are choosing to live alone and that cities like New York must invest in housing stock that single people not only can afford but actually want to live in, the type of housing they have in Scandinavian countries. He is a sociologist at New York University and the author of Going Solo, a book about the extraordinary rise and surprising appeal of living alone.

Tina Enghoff Possible Relatives

In Denmark when someone dies alone, and no-one claims the body, the authorities put an ad in the newspaper calling for Possible Relatives. This is also the title of a photo-book by Danish photographer Tina Enghoff. She took pictures of some of these apartments after the bodies were removed, often the bodies go undiscovered for weeks. My friend Pejk Malinovski, who is also a Dane (and a radio producer) met up with Tina on a recent trip home to Copenhagen.

    Benjamen Walker

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    Radio, Podcasts, Comics, Documentaries. Current show: Theory of Everything (PRX —Radiotopia), Past work: WFMU, WNYC, BBC, NPR, The Guardian