Annoying Encumbrances

Yesterday a young man asked me to recommend a must-read book, the one that meant the most to me. My answer to that question hasn’t changed since it was published in 1988: Solitude by Anthony Storr.

I’ve never before or since experienced the pleasantly uncanny sensation that a book had been written expressly for me, the only child of two only children. Solitude changed, not my life—my temperament and sensibility were firmly set, I see now, no later than age 4 — but my conception of myself.