Jenny Odell’s follow-up to her NYT-bestselling hit HOW TO DO NOTHING: Resisting the Attention Economy.
by Jenny Odell
Random House, Summer 2023
(via Frances Goldin Literary)
Time often makes us anxious: we don’t have enough time, we’re spending our time wrong, we’re wasting time. These fears are all shaped by the idea of time as a finite commodity—a commodity with a value in both productivity and money. Living in this type of time means that, even in our increasingly scant non-work hours, it’s nearly impossible to experience any time as actually free. In SAVING TIME, Jenny Odell shows how this anxiety is more than just an individual concern, but rather springs from a system of time structured by and for our capitalist society. Aiming to make commodified time “not only identifiable but strange to the reader”, SAVING TIME traces the deep historical roots of time-as-money thinking before turning to the ways that we internalize this pressurized and destructive clock, becoming our own relentless timekeepers and task masters. Arguing that living under this kind of time harms both our personal and collective health, Odell explores both short and long-term strategies to challenge the monopoly of capitalist time. As intellectually ambitious as it is intimate and compassionate, SAVING TIME invites the reader to different kinds of time altogether, including ecological time and climate time, among others. Odell ultimately hopes that access to this “chronodiversity” will broaden and deepen not just our vision of what is possible but our experience of life itself.
Jenny Odell’s NYT-bestselling book How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy (Melville House) was selected by President Barack Obama as one of his favorite books of 2019. Odell’s writing has appeared in outlets including The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Atlantic, The Believer, The Paris Review, and McSweeney’s. Her work as a visual artist has been exhibited locally and internationally: at the Contemporary Jewish Museum (SF), the New York Public Library, apexart (NYC), Les Rencontres d’Arles, the Li Shui Photography Festival, Fotomuseum Antwerpen, Centre d’Art Santa Monica, and East Wing (Dubai). She teaches digital art at Stanford University.