Revealing my book on minimalism
The Longing for Less will be published by Bloomsbury on January 21, 2020
|Kyle Chayka||Sep 19, 2019|| 6|
My book, The Longing for Less: Living with Minimalism will be published by Bloomsbury on January 21, 2020. It would be really awesome if you preordered it through any of these websites:
(It’s currently $17.74 to preorder the hardcover on Amazon and I won’t blame you for taking advantage.)
As you probably know, the more preorders I get, the more the Internet Giants and The Algorithm will pay attention! Advance copies are out now in paperback, but the real fun will come with the hardcover edition, which has a secret you can see in this animation:
The book’s half-jacket will come off and printed directly on the hardcover is the second half of the abstract shape that Bloomsbury designed in this beautiful muted palette. I really like this because it allows the book to be an ambiguous physical object, something like Minimalist art. Also I always take book jackets off and then lose them, so now you don’t even need to keep it!
If you’re not convinced by the opportunity to Instagram it, the book’s actual words are very good too, IMO. Rather than a linear history, the book is thematic, split up into four chapters that reflect different aspects of minimalism: Reduction, Emptiness, Silence, and Shadow. On the table of contents you can see how they all relate to one another as parts of a whole:
I also really like the page spreads between chapters, which each have an image that relates to the text:
The chapters explore minimalism as a lifestyle of simplicity, an austere visual aesthetic, a way of escaping from overwhelming sensation, and an embrace of ambiguity and uncertainty, respectively. Minimalism isn’t just a style but a way of being in the world. In each chapter there are characters that emerge and recur, including artists like Agnes Martin and Donald Judd; composers John Cage and Julius Eastman; and writers Junichiro Tanizaki and Kuki Shuzo. Both through their work and the way they lived their lives, these people can teach us about what minimalism means and what role it can play today.
It’s also part travelogue through the landscape of minimalism. In the book, I visit Donald Judd’s epic warehouse homes in Marfa, Texas; experiment with sensory deprivation; listen to terrible music at the Guggenheim; and travel through Tokyo and Kyoto, snooping in cemeteries and rock gardens.
Again, it would be amazing if you pre-ordered it. You can also reach out to Sara Mercurio at Bloomsbury, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you’re planning to cover it or make other inquiries. But also feel free to email me with any questions. I tweeted about it here, so you could always RT?
Thanks for everything,
PS: I updated my website with book information and also a long-overdue archive of my writing. Maybe there are a few things you haven’t seen before.