Kristen Radtke on the Lonely Act of Writing

May 19, 2021

At the New York Times, Kristen Radtke discusses her new graphic novel, Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness, and reflects on the way storytelling allows writers to confront their loneliness. “It’s not a leap to suggest that many writers are inherently lonely people,” Radtke says, “because writing is a form of seeking, a desire to put something into the world that doesn’t yet exist. Emily Dickinson called loneliness ‘the horror not to be surveyed,’ and what is writing if not crying out for someone to bear witness to a part of who we are? I have read very few books that are not about loneliness in some way, even unintentionally — a searching protagonist, a disconnected character, a desperate quest to answer a question that a writer has found no other way to solve.”

is a writer and illustrator. She is the author of two illustrated books, Last Night's Reading (Penguin Books, 2015) and Sanpaku (Archaia 2018).

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