Our world today is full of algorithms and metrics designed to help us keep up, to keep track, to keep going. New devices, such...

Our world today is full of algorithms and metrics designed to help us keep up, to keep track, to keep going. New devices, such as the smartwatch, now make it possible to quantify and standardize every conceivable human activity, from keeping track of personal bests at the gym to getting a good night’s sleep—all from the comfort of our homes. But what do these measurements actually tell us about ourselves? What happens when the data sets for these functions are subjective? And how do we know whether we’re measuring ourselves accurately?

In her debut collection of essays, nonfiction writer Rachel Z. Arndt explores the answers to these questions, interrogating the methods through which we measure our lives in the modern world. Through a series of 19 researched personal essays, Arndt speaks from her own experiences managing her narcolepsy, participating in judo tournaments, analyzing the rituals of online dating and more in order to answer the question of what can be measured—or, more accurately, what cannot.

Today on the New Books Network, join us as we sit down with Rachel Z. Arndt to hear more about Beyond Measure available now from Sarabande Books (2018).


Zoë Bossiere is a doctoral student at Ohio University, where she studies creative nonfiction and teaches writing classes. For more NBn interviews, follow her on Twitter @zoebossiere or head to zoebossiere.com.

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