Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond (Paperback)

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A Next Big Idea Club Must-Read Nonfiction Book of Winter 2020 and a Real Simple Best Book of 2020



“Accessible and enlightening.… Denworth has crafted a worthy call to action.” —Washington Post


In this revelatory investigation, science journalist Lydia Denworth takes us in search of friendship’s biological, psychological, and evolutionary foundations. An “expert guide” (Kathryn Bowers, New York Times Book Review), Denworth weaves past and present, field biology and neuroscience, to show how our bodies and minds are designed for friendship across life stages, the processes by which healthy social bonds are developed and maintained, and how friendship is changing in the age of social media. Now including a Q&A between the author and her close friend to guide reflection and conversation, Friendship is a clarion call for putting positive relationships at the center of our lives.



About the Author


Lydia Denworth is the author of two previous books, as well as a contributing editor for Scientific American and blogger for Psychology Today. Her work is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and she lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Praise For…


[Denworth] has a solid command of the complex material before her and a seemingly effortless ability to make it not just digestible but engaging.… [She] sticks to the science, calmly telling us the truth no matter what we think we need to hear. What else are friends for?
— Daniel Akst

A fascinating deep dive into the societal, emotional, and health benefits of our everyday relationships.
— Best Books of 2020

Exploring friendship’s opposite—loneliness—throws the topic into poignant relief.… [I]nformative.
— Kathryn Bowers

A mind-blowing book about the science and power of friendship.
— Dax Shepard

Friendship is one of my favorite books of the year; it delivers that rare combination of storytelling, research, and affirmation that friendships should be nurtured and treasured.

— Jessica Lahey, author of The Gift of Failure

Compelling.
— Susannah Cahalan

[One of] my top picks for books that have the potential to have a lasting impact on your thoughts and actions.
— Adam Grant

Hopeful.… [Lydia] Denworth blends her reportage with occasional asides about her friendships.… [A] useful reminder that each friendship is different, perhaps impossible for any scientist to parse completely.
— Danny Heitman

[A] lively, accessible look at what makes the universal bond so essential.
— Hephzibah Anderson

The power of friendship—in many ways the most essential of our relationships—has long been underestimated. It’s an absolute pleasure to see Lydia Denworth do it justice in this lovely, insightful, and important book.
— Deborah Blum, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Poison Squad


Product Details
ISBN: 9780393541502
ISBN-10: 0393541509
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: January 26th, 2021
Pages: 320