Concordia explores loneliness with ‘Seek You’ author at Readings and Conversation event

Concordia College's next Readings and Conversation series talk will feature Kristen Radtke, author of the widely acclaimed graphic novel "Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness."

The event, hosted by guest moderator and Concordia alumnus John Ydstie, will begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 14, in the Knutson Campus Center’s Centrum.

The event is free and open to the public, with a reception and book signing to follow.

In “Seek You,” Radtke paints loneliness as a silent epidemic in America, one that’s often misunderstood and shameful to talk about yet is everywhere. In 2023, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued an advisory warning of an "epidemic of loneliness and isolation," calling it an "underappreciated public health crisis." Using emotionally charged drawings and empathetic prose, Radtke takes readers through the history of loneliness and longing, with topics ranging from the invention of the laugh track to the rise of Instagram. 

Her first book, the genre-smashing "Imagine Wanting Only This," was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick, a Junior Library Guild Selection, and a Nylon Most Anticipated Book. Her work has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Harper's, Marie Claire, and Vanity Fair.

Radtke is the former managing editor of Sarabande Books and is currently the creative director of The Verge.

As part of her visit to the college, Radtke will meet with creative writing and psychology students. Ydstie will visit with students in a news-writing course. 

Ydstie earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia College in 1974 with a major in English literature and a minor in speech communications. He covered the economy, Wall Street, and the federal budget for NPR for two decades and was a regular guest host on the NPR news programs Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, and Talk of the Nation. Ydstie retired in 2019.

About the Author-in-Residence Program:

The Readings and Conversation Series is part of Concordia College's Author-in-Residence program, made possible through the generous support of alumnus Dr. Earl Lewis '78 and Susan Whitlock.

Recent author visits include David Grann (“Killers of the Flower Moon”) and Suzanne Simard (“Finding the Mother Tree”).