Being an oddball in your social circle or workplace can be challenging. But research suggests that what makes us unusual can lead to creative breakthroughs. In her new book Weird: The Power of Being an Outsider in an Insider World, Atlantic staff writer Olga Khazan explores why it is that we crave conformity, how that affects people who are different, and what they can do about it. Khazan reclaims the concept of “weird’ and turns it into a badge of honor rather than a slur – showing how being different – culturally, socially, physically, or mentally – can actually be a person’s greatest strength.
Olga Khazan is a staff writer for The Atlantic, covering health, gender, and science. Prior to that, she was The Atlantic’s Global editor. She has also written for the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Forbes, and other publications. She is a two-time recipient of the International Reporting Project’s Journalism Fellowship and winner of the 2017 National Headliner Awards for Magazine Online Writing.