The Crying Book by Heather Christle
Heather Christle has just lost a dear friend to suicide and now must reckon with her own depression and the birth of her first child. As she faces her grief and impending parenthood, she decides to research the act of crying: what it is and why people do it, even if they rarely talk about it. Along the way, she discovers an artist who designed a frozen-tear-shooting gun and a moth that feeds on the tears of other animals. She researches tear-collecting devices (lachrymatories) and explores the role white women’s tears play in racist violence.
Honest, intelligent, rapturous, and surprising, Christle’s investigations look through a mosaic of science, history, and her own lived experience to find new ways of understanding life, loss, and mental illness. The Crying Book is a deeply personal tribute to the fascinating strangeness of tears and the unexpected resilience of joy.
"Christle explores the mystery of tears while mining her own sorrows in this intelligent, compelling read." —Kim Hubbard, People
"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. But in The Crying Book, the author’s blend of personal experience and scientific research gives way to broader discussions about motherhood, mental health, grief and art." —Annabel Gutterman, Time
"Invigorating . . . Unique and inspired . . . 'They say perhaps we cry when language fails, when words can no longer adequately convey our hurt,' Christle muses. But with The Crying Book, language hasn’t failed. Precisely the opposite. She’s used her gifts as a poet to get at the heart of why sadness arrives and how it affects us." —Alexis Burling, San Francisco Chronicle
Publisher: Catapult, Illustrated edition