With another lockdown in place for many of us, we find ourselves alone at home trying to find a way to pass our free time. It’s the perfect opportunity to fill that time with thoughtful, contemplative, readings well suited for solitude and reflection. Here’s our list of books that center around feelings of isolation, solitude and existential journeys of finding and coming to terms with oneself. Whether you’re in the mood for a novel or a collection of poems, we have got you covered. There’s a read for everyone regardless of your taste.
100 Years of Solitude (1967) by Gabriel García Márquez
Considered to be one of the greatest literature achievements of all time, Marquez’s rich masterpiece tells the story of a multi-generational family, which begins in an isolated fictional town in Latin America. With historical references blended with magical realism, every page is a vibrant escape full of love, loss, and solitude.
The Bluest Eye (1970) by Toni Morrison
One of Morrison’s earliest novels, The Bluest Eye follows an African American girl who finds herself isolated and struggling with her identity as she tries to navigate the Eurocentric standards of beauty and white ideologies around her. The novel shows the effects of self-hatred and destructive behavior to fit in.
The Woman Destroyed (1967) by Simone de Beauvoir
Beauvoir, known for weaving together feminism and existentialism, gives us three short stories that explore the personal lives of different female protagonists. They share a sense of meaninglessness in life, intensified by feelings of loneliness, solitude and despair.
Kafka on the Shore (2002) by Haruki Murakami
The metaphysical novel is about a young boy who leaves home on a quest for answers. Full of visions and dreams, each character deals with isolation, loneliness, love and loss. The story is mind-bending and magical and will have you drawn in until the very end.