A Review of Going Solo (and My Dream of Living in an Assisted Living Facility)

Eric and moi at the West Coast book party for Going Solo

When I turned 33, a bunch of my friends got together in a huddle in a bar and talked about where we wanted to be in 30 years. Some people talked about traveling the world, another talked about having written many books. I talked about my desire to live in an assisted living facility.

Everyone laughed at me. “You want to live in an old age home when you are 63?” I said, “I want to live in an assisted living facility now!” I thought it would be great to live in a place that combines private space with services and community. Where all my friends could live close by and it would be easy to hang out without making plans two weeks in advance. My ideal assisted living facility (aka cohousing) would be a college campus but without the academic pressure and all the fun. (And now that I have been diagnosed as having celiac, let’s create a cafeteria with gluten-free meals, OK?)

All things brings me to my review of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, a book that has deservedly gotten tons of attention since it was published earlier this year. Check here: New York Times Book Review, or the New York Times Styles Section, or the New York Times Op-Ed page.

Disclosure: the author Eric Klinenberg has become a friend since we first met a few years ago. He interviewed me and my story of chucking it all to go to Brazil (as well as the story of caring for my aunt, a quirkyalone who suddenly found herself very vulnerable when she got a brain tumor) are in the book. My bias out of the way, I can say: Going Solo is a brilliant book that will change the way you look at being single and living alone. If you’re in a relationship and live with a partner it will also change the way you think about your space. Read More