A book of essays. But not just any book of essays. This one comes from New York Magazine’s Heather Havrilesky. And she’s knocked it out of the park.
In nineteen essays, all new and revised and expanded, WHAT IF THIS WERE ENOUGH? investigates the ways we’ve convinced ourselves that salvation can be delivered only in the form of new products, new technologies, and new approaches to our lifestyles. From gaping at celebrities on Instagram and grappling with the anxieties of new platforms and devices, Heather Havrilesky sees us struggling against the systems that we live within and redirects our attention toward what we have already. She shows how we’re haunted by these ineffable things -hunger, worry, disappointment-and how sometimes just by describing them, we can begin to break their spells.
Miss Havrilesky tells it like it is. In fine prose and with a fierce sense of purpose and humor, I found myself nodding my head “yes” over and over again as I recognized so much of what she was saying.
I think the most profound statement in the book is ” Face to face, real-time connection to others feels fraught and awkward compared to the safe distance of digital communication. We maintain intimate virtual contact with strangers but seem increasingly isolated from our closest friends and family members.” Wow, I actually said out loud. I recall a time when I relished a phone call from one of my sons. Now I receive text messages. Sometimes, when I’m really lucky, I get an email. Happy Birthday is now done on Facebook or through text. Not always, but often. At first I found this disturbing. However, after hearing from friends, I know it’s just become the norm. I have accepted it.
The prose is delightful and smart. The content is filled with essay after essay that you just might relate to. It’s just flat-out really great writing.
My review copy arrived from Double Day Publishing. This is one to read and reread. Thanks a bunch.