Riverhead Books Life Is Hard Riverhead Books Life Is Hard
Riverhead Books Life Is Hard Riverhead Books Life Is Hard

Life Is Hard

By Kieran Setiya


Publication Date: October 3, 2023

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A philosophical guide to facing life’s inevitable hardships

There is no cure for the human condition: life is hard. But Kieran Setiya believes philosophy can help. He offers us a map for navigating rough terrain, from personal trauma to the injustice and absurdity of the world. 

    In this profound and personal book, Setiya shows how the tools of philosophy can help us find our way. Drawing on ancient and modern philosophy as well as fiction, history, memoir, film, comedy, social science, and stories from Setiya’s own experience, Life Is Hard is a book for this moment—a work of solace and compassion.

    Warm, accessible, and good-humored, this book is about making the best of a bad lot. It offers guidance for coping with pain and making new friends, for grieving the lost and failing with grace, for confronting injustice and searching for meaning in life. Countering pop psychologists and online influencers who admonish us to “find our bliss” and “live our best lives,” Setiya acknowledges that the best is often out of reach. He asks instead how we can weather life’s adversities, finding hope and living well when life is hard.

About the Author

Kieran Setiya is a professor of philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the author Midlife: A Philosophical Guide. His writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement (London), the London Review of Books, The New York Times, Aeon, and The Yale Review.

Author Residence: Brookline, Massachusetts

Author Hometown: Hull, England

Format: Trade Paperback

Length: 240 pages

Publisher: Riverhead Books

Publication Date: October 3, 2023

ISBN: 9780593538227

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