How to Disappear:
notes on invisibility in a time of transparency


In our networked and image-saturated lives, the notion of disappearing has never been more alluring. The pressure to be public comes not just from our peers, but from vast and pervasive technology companies that want to profit from patterns in our behavior. A lifelong student and observer of the natural world, Akiko Busch sets out to explore her own uneasiness with this arrangement. Writing in rich painterly detail about her own life, her family, and some of the world’s most exotic and remote places—from the Cayman Islands to Iceland—she savors the pleasures of being unseen. How to Disappear overturns the dangerous modern assumption that somehow fame and visibility equate to success and happiness. A field guide to invisibility, it reacquaints us with the merits of remaining inconspicuous, and finding genuine alternatives to a life of perpetual exposure.


Read The New York Times book review.


Perhaps it is time to reevaluate the merits of the inconspicuous life, to search out some antidote to continuous exposure, and to reconsider the value of going unseen, undetected, or overlooked in this new world. Might invisibility be regarded not simply as refuge, but as a condition with its own meaning and power?