Yawn by Mary Mann
Adventures in Boredom

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Yawn is deeply interested in connecting the history, psychology, and cultural narratives around boredom; if the authorial presence gets a little draining, well, maybe that's part of the point.
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Synopsis

“An exhilarating tour of apathy, restlessness, torpor, depression, paralysis and the places in between” (Stacy Schiff, author of The Witches), Mary Mann’s Yawn: Adventures in Boredom is an incisive and often hilarious story of one of our most interesting cultural phenomena: boredom.

With sharp wit and impressive historical acumen, Mary Mann tells the unexpected story of the hunt for a deeper understanding of boredom, in all its absurd, irritating, and inspiring splendor. Deftly wrought from interviews, research, and personal experience, Yawn follows Mann’s search through history for the truth about boredom, spanning the globe and introducing a varied cast of characters.

We meet the Desert Fathers, fourth-century Christian monks who made their homes far from civilization and who offer the first recorded accounts of lethargy; Thomas Cook, grandfather of the tourism industry, who provided escape from the mundane for England’s working class; modern couples who are disenchanted by monogamous sex, deployed soldiers who seek entertainment and connection in porn; and prisoners held in solitary confinement, for whom boredom is a punishment.

 

About Mary Mann

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Mary Mann has written for The New York Times, The Believer, Smithsonian, Matter, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and other outlets. Her work has been recommended by Longreads and The Dish, and she’s the recipient of a 2015 CATWALK Art Residency. She’s the associate editor of the New York Times bestselling collection Women in Clothes.
 
Published May 16, 2017 by FSG Originals. 176 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Health, Fitness & Dieting, History. Non-fiction
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NPR

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Reviewed by Genevieve Valentine on May 20 2017

Yawn is deeply interested in connecting the history, psychology, and cultural narratives around boredom; if the authorial presence gets a little draining, well, maybe that's part of the point.

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