anneli rufus
loners unite! (well, sort of.)
party of one

What did Kurt Cobain, Albert Einstein, and Georgia O'Keeffe have in common?

No, not their taste in music. Guess again.

They were loners.
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Welcome to the homepage of Anneli Rufus. This page is about my book Party of One: the Loners' Manifesto.

Here we are, having this rendezvous without having to see each other, without having to be in the same place at the same time, without having to talk or check each other out or wear decent clothes. It's loner time.

My book Party of One is about our subculture - the subculture that will never, by nature, join hands and whose voices will never, by nature, form a chorus. Some loners are neuroscientists and some are office cleaners. Some are sculptors and some are Survivor fans. Some are law students and some are surfers. No two loners are alike, but all of us have one thing in common: we like to be alone. We like it. Everyone else - nonloners, that is — can't stand to be alone. They squirm. They feel ashamed. They yearn for company when they're alone. They're bored and don't know what to do. They're lonely.

We're not.

Maybe we're not holed up in caves all day, or in submarines like Captain Nemo in his Nautilus. But alone we feel most normal. Most ourselves. Most alive.

Mainstream culture loves nonloners. Joiners, schmoozers, teamworkers, congregants and all those who play well with others scoop up the rewards.

Meanwhile, loners get dissed. All the time. At school, at work, at church or temple, in movies, loners are misunderstood, misjudged, loathed, pitied and feared. Reporters and profilers calmly and constantly call us perverts, losers, stalkers and serial killers.

If every headline that includes the word "loner" had "Canadian" or "certified public accountant" instead, imagine the outcry.

Nonloners call loners crazy. Cold. Stuck-up. Standoffish. Selfish. Sad. Bad. Secretive. But we know being a loner isn't about hating people. It's about essence, about necessity. We need what others dread. We dread what others need.

Do birds hate lips? Do Fijians detest snowplows?

A journalist and the author of several critically acclaimed books, and a lifelong loner, I wrote Party of One as a way to expose mainstream culture’s antiloner prejudice. But I also wrote it to show the ways in which loners have not just survived but actually changed the world, not just saved civilization but had a lot to do with creating it.

Famous loners span every era, every realm. Albert Einstein, Anne Rice, Michelangelo, Barry Bonds, Isaac Newton, Franz Kafka, Stanley Kubrick, Janet Reno, John Lennon, James Michener, Emily Dickinson, Alexander Pope, Hermann Hesse, Paul Westerberg, Georgia O’Keeffe, Kurt Cobain, Haruki Murakami, Gustav Klimt, Charles Schulz, Dan Clowes, Piet Mondrian, Saint Anthony, H.P. Lovecraft, Beatrix Potter and Joe DiMaggio....

Not to mention Superman, Batman and Shiva.

So — as the pickpockets sang in the musical Oliver! — consider yourself one of us.

© 2009 anneli rufus