A smart and empowering book about the simple art of hanging out ... and of taking back our social lives from the deadening whirl of contemporary life.
Almost every day it seems that our world becomes more fractured, more digital, and more chaotic. Sheila Liming has the answer: we need to hang out more.
Starting with the assumption that play is to children as hanging out is to adults, Liming makes a brilliant case for the necessity of unstructured social time as a key element of our cultural vitality. The book asks questions like what is hanging out? why is it important? why do we do it? how do we do it? and examines the various ways we hang out—in groups, online, at parties, at work.
Hanging Out: The Radical Power of Killing Time makes an intelligent case for the importance of this most casual of social structures, and shows us how just getting together can be a potent act of resistance all on its own.
About the Author
Sheila Liming is an associate professor at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont, where she teaches classes on literature, media, and writing. She is the author of two books, What a Library Means to a Woman and Office, and the editor of a new edition of Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence. Her essays have appeared in venues like The Atlantic, McSweeney’s, Lapham’s Quarterly, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Public Books, and The Point.
Reader's Digest Most Anticipated 2023 Read
Literary Hub Most Anticipated 2023 Read
The Millions Most Anticipated 2023 Read
"We could all use more of that blissfully unstructured social time, posits Sheila Liming in the well-considered series of arguments found in Hanging Out." —Reader's Digest
"[Hanging Out] opens with a simple and expansive account of what hanging out is...Liming dedicates much of the book to stories from her past. She has lived an interesting life, and she tells these stories well..." —Washington Post
"More books about hanging out, less about productivity please. Sheila Liming sees the gap in our thinking about time, and the true worth in spending it in an unstructured fashion with members of our community..." —Literary Hub
"[Hanging Out] encourages readers to do more of it in real life...Liming’s observational and storytelling skills shine." —Publishers Weekly
"From sharing a cuppa to lazing in the park, is the key to happiness doing everyday activities with pals?... Liming proposes hanging out as a balm that forges connection and meaning." —The Guardian UK
"A thoughtful manifesto...Liming is unsurprisingly the most compelling when she incorporates literary criticism into her treatise." —BookPage
"Like me, you will thoroughly enjoy hanging out with this book. Jam-packed with eloquent and authentic testimony, it delivers many fresh insights on experiences that we might otherwise take for granted." —Andrew Ross, author of Nice Work If You Can Get It: Life and Labor in Precarious Times
"Tightly argued, brilliantly written...smart yet so accessible, Hanging Out will impress readers with the way each idea builds on the next, never forced and always human." —Shelf Awareness
"Sharp and vivid writing...her [Limings] chapter on parties is so richly drawn. It’s a layered exploration of social dynamics and contains some textured literary criticism..." —Bookforum
"Readers will gain a new appreciation for their next get-together after reading this fascinating book and taking the author's well-written words to heart" —Booklist
"[A] meditation on the value of spending idle time with friends, family, and strangers." —Kirkus Reviews