Please take a moment to review Hachette Book Group's updated Privacy Policy: read the updated policy here.

The Crying Book

The Crying Book

‘A deeply felt, and genuinely touching, book’ Esmé Weijun Wang, author of The Collected Schizophrenias

‘Spellbinding and propulsive’ Leni Zeumas, author of Red Clocks

The Crying Book is a rigorous and urgent work but it reads like an intimate gift’ Kaveh Akbar, author of Calling a Wolf a Wolf

‘This book began five years ago with an idle idea about what it might look like to make a map of every place I’d ever cried, an idea I carried into conversation with friends, not knowing, how many years and pages would grow around it, not knowing how that growth would change the way I viewtears’

During a period of intense grief that coincides with the birth of her first child, acclaimed poet Heather Christle starts to research the deeply human impulse to shed tears. As Christle looks to art, nature, science, history and her own experience to understand crying in all its colours and textures – so she slowly begins to find new ways of understanding life.

Honest, intelligent, rapturous and surprising, The Crying Book is a poignant, personal tribute to the astonishing strangeness of tears and the startling resilience of joy.
Read More

Genre: Biography & True Stories / Biography: General / Biography: Literary

On Sale: 7th November 2019

Price: £12.99

ISBN-13: 9781472154699


The Crying Book is spellbinding and propulsive - the map of a luminous mind in conversation with books, songs, friends, scientific theories, literary histories, her own jagged joy, and despair. Heather Christle is a visionary writer
Leni Zeumas, author of Red Clocks
The book's effects are sly and cumulative, relying not so much on any one observation as on associations, echoes, contrasts . . . Christle wants to preserve the particularity of experiences while illuminating what they have in common
This is a wonderful and profound look at the act of crying - something human and yet hidden, common and yet mysterious. I found myself reading with a thirst for the tears Heather Christle collects here - instances within literature, film, history, and the author's own life all add up to a greater understanding of what makes us human.
Chelsea Hodson, author of Tonight I'm Someone Else
In The Crying Book, Heather Christle makes a poignant and piercing examination of the phenomenon of tears - exhaustive, yes, but also open-ended, such that I was left clutching this book to my chest with wonder, asking myself when the last time was that I cried, and why. A deeply felt, and genuinely touching, book.
Esmé Weijun Wang, author of The Collected Schizophrenias
Award-winning poet Christle pushes the boundaries of her genre with this hybrid approach to tears fusing poetry with lyric essay and a significant amount of research . . . fascinating food for thought. A surprisingly hopeful meditation on why we shed tears
Poet Christle set out to make a map of every place she had cried. Instead, she ended up with this exploration of tears throughout history, in art and literature, and in her own life . . . The cumulative effect hits the mark, and readers are sure to be moved to tears themselves. This is a lovely meditation on life and death through the lens of tears, both those spurred by grief and those by joy
Facing the birth of her first child and the suicide of a close friend, Christle (the author of four volumes of poetry) began to research the history of crying. The result is this lyrical, moving book: part essay, part memoir, part surprising cultural study
New York Times
Poet Heather Christle's book is about more than crying. As she reflects on the loss of a close friend to suicide and her own battle with depression, Christle asks why and how we cry and what it means, especially for women, to do so . . . The author's blend of personal experience and scientific research gives way to broader discussions about motherhood, mental health, grief and art.
Time Magazine, 'Book of the Month'
This is a book about crying, yes, but secretly it's a book about everything: pain, sleep, joy, despair, birth, art, exile, atrocity, language, weather, fish. Christle's genius - a word I've never before written to describe a living author - is her ability to see the miraculous and strange lines connecting everything to everything: 'neither parallel nor perpendicular,' she writes, but simply 'arcs that momentarily intersect before traveling on. The Crying Book is a rigorous and urgent work, but it reads like an intimate gift
Kaveh Akbar, author of Calling a Wolf a Wolf