Paperbacks: Quiet By Susan Cain
Boyd Tonkin is Literary Editor at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Social Policy Editor of the New Statesman and has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes. He has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize for a lifetime's achievement in literature.
Saturday 29 December 2012
If the festive season's enforced togetherness is proving a torment, curl up in a corner with this manifesto for the shy, sensitive loner.
Drawing on new research, Cain argues a heartfelt case for the value of a thoughtful, self-contained and contemplative personality in a world that worships the "extrovert ideal". In fact, her world is mainly the modern US. Her - rather noisy - defence of introvert outsiders depends on a parochial view of cultural norms. All the same, refugees from the tyranny of party-time jollity will love this eulogy of the quiet ones.
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