cover image The Call of Solitude: Alonetime in a World of Attachment

The Call of Solitude: Alonetime in a World of Attachment

Ester Schaler Buchholz. Simon & Schuster, $24 (368pp) ISBN 978-0-684-81874-0

Suggesting that our need for time alone is as powerfully driven as our need for attachment, Buchholz, a psychoanalyst, clinical psychologist and professor at New York University, makes an eloquent plea for a balance to our tell-all-immediately modern-day culture. Her description of solitude includes silence, a slower pace and quiet vistas (internal and social) to balance the sensory and often relational overload that marks today's society. Her rigorously assembled arguments draw from biological, psychological, sociological, historical and cultural sources, and are organized into three sections. Part One distinguishes being alone from being lonely and addresses the importance of ""alonetime"" in human development, examining the work of John Bowlby, Margaret Mahler, Jean Piaget, Melanie Klein and others. Part Two discusses more recent research, including studies of intrauterine experience. Part Three investigates the role of ""alonetime"" in relationships (romantic, psychoanalytic, familial and communal), focusing particularly on the interplay of intimacy and solitude. Buchholz's wide-ranging discussion, slanted toward professionals but accessible to interested general readers, may overreach on occasion, but she is often convincing in her timely and provocative advocacy of ""alonetime."" (Aug.)