A playful, analytical, informed, and poetic exploration of the delight and transformative power of real-life encounters.
The light touch of a hairdresser’s hands on one’s scalp, the euphoric energy of a nightclub, huddling with strangers under a shelter in the rain, a spontaneous snowball fight in the street, a daily interaction with a homeless man—such mundane connections, when we closely inhabit the same space, and touch or are touched by others, were nearly lost to “social distancing.” Will we ever again shake hands without a thought?
In this deeply rewarding book, Andy Field brings together history, science, psychology, queer theory, and pop culture with his love of urban life and his own experiences—both as a city-dweller and as a performance artist—to forge creative connections: walking hand-in-hand with strangers, knocking on doors, staging encounters in parked cars. In considering twelve different kinds of encounters, from car rides to video calls to dog-walker chats in the park, Field argues “that in the spontaneity and joy of our meetings with each other, we might find the faint outline of a better future.”
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