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Publication Date: April 07, 2020

Attention: A Love Story

By Casey Schwartz

What do we talk about when we talk about attention? We might start with the studies: the average American unlocks their iPhone eighty times a day; the average millennial checks their phone almost twice as often. These kinds of statistics tell the story of the last decade, as technology has wound its way into our lives as never before. But Casey Schwartz grapples with the larger questions emerging from this change, offering a focus on attention itself. What is it? What does it mean when we give it away?

Expanding on her popular New York Times Magazine article, "Generation Adderall," Schwartz details the decade she spent taking prescription pills to help her pay attention (or so she thought), then moves outward to consider the wider landscape of attention, past and present. From our craving for distraction to our craving for a cure, from Silicon Valley to psychedelics to the works and lives of writers like David Foster Wallace, Aldous Huxley, William James, and Simone Weil, who each wrote powerfully about attention's role in defining our lives, Schwartz acts as our sympathetic and qualified guide.
Blending memoir, biography, and original reporting, Schwartz examines her attempts to preserve her authentic life and see what's most important in it. Attention: A Love Story will resonate with readers who want to determine their own minds, away from the siren call of their screens.

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