The Writer’s Center presents a FREE virtual chat about the craft of nonfiction! We’re joined by author Athena Dixon to discuss her “adventurous and expansive” new memoir in essays, The Loneliness Files. Athena is in conversation with Amy Freeman, author and Development Director at The Writer’s Center.
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We encourage you to order a copy of the book from your local, independent bookseller or online from Bookshop.org.
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.
About the Book
“I was blown away not only by the writing, but by the adventurous and expansive concept stretched out across these essays. The Loneliness Files has a real opportunity to reshape and redefine what a cohesive, braided, essay collection can be.” —Hanif Abdurraqib, Tin House Editor-at-Large
What does it mean to be a body behind a screen, lost in the hustle of an online world? In our age of digital hyper-connection, Athena Dixon invites us to consider this question with depth, heart, and ferocity, investigating the gaps that technology cannot fill and confronting a lifetime of loneliness.
Living alone as a middle-aged woman without children or pets and working forty hours a week from home, more than three hundred fifty miles from her family and friends, Dixon begins watching mystery videos on YouTube, listening to true crime podcasts, and playing video game walk-throughs just to hear another human voice. She discovers the story of Joyce Carol Vincent, a woman who died alone, her body remaining in front of a glowing television set for three years before the world finally noticed. Searching for connection, Dixon plumbs the depths of communal loneliness, asking essential questions of herself and all of us: How have her past decisions left her so alone? Are we, as humans, linked by a shared loneliness? How do we see the world and our place in it? And finally, how do we find our way back to each other?
Searing and searching, The Loneliness Files is a groundbreaking memoir in essays that ultimately brings us together in its piercing, revelatory examination of how and why it is that we break apart.