The Crying Book

The Crying Book

Award-winning poet Heather Christle has just lost a dear friend to suicide and must reckon with her own struggles with depression and the birth of her first child. How she faces her joy, grief, anxiety, impending motherhood, and conflicted truce with the world results in a moving meditation on the nature, rapture, and perils of crying―from the history of tear-catching gadgets (including the woman who designed a gun that shoots tears) to the science behind animal tears (including moths who drink them) to the fraught role of white women's tears in racist violence.

Told in short, poetic snippets, The Crying Book delights and surprises, as well as rigorously examines how mental illness can affect a family across generations and how crying can express women’s agency―or lack of agency―in everyday life. Christle’s gift is the freshness of her voice and honesty of her approach, both of which create an intimacy with readers as she explores a human behavior broadly experienced but rarely questioned. A beautiful tribute to the power of crying, and to working through despair to tears of joy.

Title:The Crying Book
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781948226448
Format Type:

    The Crying Book Reviews

  • Heather

    I’ve always been fascinated by the roles tears play in women’s lives. This book by the marvellous poet Heather Christel is a meditation on tears from those of children to those of mothers to those...

  • Paris (parisperusing)

    “Empathy can be a hole through which one falls into despair. Tears make the ground slippery. And then what? Satisfaction for the depth of one’s feelings? If I am not myself in danger, then my imag...

  • Catapult

    Why do we cry? How do we cry? And what does it mean? A scientific, cultural, artistic examination by a young poet on the cusp of motherhood....

  • Jocelyn

    I have many complicated feelings about this book so coming up with a rating took some deliberating. The biggest hang up I have is definitely my expectations going in. I love the idea of a book that ex...

  • Jonathan

    When was the last time that you really cried, and what was the reason? Be vulnerable and transparent here with me, just like the actual act of crying. When were you so overcome with grief and moved so...

  • Kelci Jacoby

    I was not sure what to expect when I got this book in the mail, but all I can say is wow! I am someone who apologizes every single time I cry (even when my dad passed away) and this beautiful text val...

  • Kevin

    Fascinating and deeply moving. This fragmentary examination of tears expertly mixes poetic thought, science, and the author's own relationship to sadness, joy, and crying. Everyone who has ever cried ...

  • Afton Montgomery

    The Crying Book is intensely meta and layered in every direction. I love nothing more than the melding of the scientific and the literary, and with this exploration of tears, Heather Christle creates ...

  • Vincent Scarpa

    "I say book. I mean poem. I mean the way the landscape suddenly reveals itself in layers, a vertical light shining its connective beam from one moment to the next. An entry into — an awareness of ...

  • Jules

    The book is a lachrymatory for the author's tears. It's written in short bursts containing poignant memories, details and facts. Honestly, I loved this book so much I'm not sure what to say about it....