Val Walker
Val Walker
Camden Public Library will host rehabilitation consultant and author Val Walker (shown) in an online discussion of her new book, “400 Friends and No One to Call: Breaking Through Isolation and Building Community,” on Tuesday, May 26, at 6 p.m. The program will be presented via Zoom; email to request a link to participate.

Walker wrote “400 Friends and No One to Call” in response to her experience of feeling stranded and alone while recovering from major surgery. The book offers suggestions for befriending a wider community, building a social safety net, and fostering a sense of belonging. She invites readers to “befriend” loneliness rather than feeling ashamed of it and to open oneself to others trapped in isolation.

“Even before COVID-19, it took courage and initiative to break out of isolation and rebuild our support networks,” Walker said in a library news release. “We may have already been . . . in isolating situations such as illness, caregiving, living alone, divorce, relocation, financial stress or the death of a loved one. This pandemic has magnified the impact of these forces.”

Walker also wrote “The Art of Comforting,” which won the Nautilus Book Award and was recommended by the Boston Public Health Commission as a guide for families affected by the Boston Marathon bombing. She has led support groups for people living with chronic illness, disability, grief and trauma for 24 years. A contributing blogger for Psychology Today, she lives in Boston.

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