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