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Anne Manne On Narcissism


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In 2006, Anne Manne’s essay on New Narcissism was a chilling and prescient overview of the direction in which society was headed. Since its publication in The Monthly eight years ago, her observations on self-obsession and the startling lack of empathy in our world have been magnified in surprising (and sometimes shocking) ways.

In her new book, The Life of I: the new culture of narcissism, Anne scrutinises how prevalent narcissistic tendencies have become in popular culture, the workplace and social media. From Anders Breivik to Lance Armstrong to Elliot Rodger, Anne goes beyond the usual suspects of social media and celebrity culture to the deeper root of the issue: how a new narcissistic character-type is being fuelled by a cult of the self and the pursuit of wealth in a hypercompetitive consumer society.

Anne’s books include Motherhood: How Should we Care for our Children? and So This is Life: Scenes from a Country Childhood. She is also a popular essayist, known for her unique and powerful insights on topics such as loneliness, pornography and the pressures on families.

Hosting this discussion will be the editor of the Monthly, Nick Feik.


Nick Feik

Nick Feik is the editor of the Monthly magazine. As a writer he has contributed to the Age, the Saturday Paper, the Drum and the Economist Intelligence Unit on politics, environmentalism, economics and popular culture. Prior to the Monthly, he was programmer at the Melbourne International Film Festi... Read more

Anne Manne

Anne Manne is a Melbourne writer. She has been a regular columnist for The Australian and the Age. More recently, her essays on contemporary culture such as child abuse, pornography, gendercide and disability have all appeared in The Monthly magazine. Her essay ‘Ebony: The Girl in the Room’, was... Read more


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