Kristin Dombek is an essayist, critic, and cultural journalist. She is the author of the The Selfishness of Others: An Essay on the Fear of Narcissism (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016). Her essays, reviews, and reporting can be found in The Paris Review, Harper’s, The New York Times, The London Review of Books, Vice, The Painted Bride Quarterly, and n+1, where she writes a philosophical advice column called “The Help Desk.” Her work has been anthologized in Best American Essays, The Unprofessionals, Happiness: Ten Years of n+1, and elsewhere, and translated across the globe. She is a MacDowell Fellow, and has received fellowships from the Rona Jaffe Foundation and the n+1 Foundation. She grew up on a farm in Indiana and lives in New York City.
ENGL 211W: Introduction to Writing Nonfiction
ENGL 760: Nonfiction in Theory and Practice
The Selfishness of Others: An Essay on the Fear of Narcissism. New York: FSG Originals, 2016.
In The Selfishness of Others, the essayist Kristin Dombek provides a clear-sighted account of how a rare clinical diagnosis became a fluid cultural phenomenon, a repository for our deepest fears about love, friendship, and family. She cuts through hysteria in search of the razor-thin line between pathology and common selfishness, writing with robust skepticism toward the prophets of NPD and genuine empathy for those who see themselves as its victims. And finally, she shares her own story in a candid effort to find a path away from the cycle of fear and blame and toward a more forgiving and rewarding life.