Today we're launching David Berry's book On Nostalgia, a history of nostalgia—which is no small thing! Tobias Carroll writes at Literary Hub, "[Berry] pulls off the impressive feat of covering plenty of ground in a concise and compelling manner."
The Elevator Pitch. Tell us about your book in a sentence.
It’s a cultural history of nostalgia, an examination of why and how we’re so ceaselessly drawn back.
Describe your ideal reader.
Someone who has never met a Wikipedia hole they couldn’t fall in.
What authors/books is your work in conversation with?
Among others, I’d hope it’s in conversation with writers like FT Marinetti, Jaron Lanier, Eric Hobsbawm, Barbara Tuchman, Steven Pinker, Bill Bryson and every tech CEO who has written a thinkpiece or memoir, although I would certainly not claim that all those conversations are polite or respectful.
What is something interesting you learned about your book/ yourself/ your subject during the process of creating and publishing your book?
I learned that when left to my own devices, my nostalgic thoughts tend to turn towards chocolate chip cookies. Also, I went from someone who was pretty deeply suspicious of nostalgia in general to someone who is deeply suspicious of the ways it’s used against us and profoundly …