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A Life in Words - cover

A Life in Words

You Jin

Publisher: Epigram Books

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Summary

"For many years, I have made my living by the pen. In 2005, when my autobiography was published in Chinese, I gave it the title《文字就是生命》 or A Life in Words. These words encapsulate the beautiful connection between me and my lifelong devotion to the literary arts. Literature and I have transformed into a single entity, and I can feel Chinese characters bobbing along through my veins." —You Jin

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  • The Crying Book - cover

    The Crying Book

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    The Crying Book is a brilliant, genre-bending, and inquisitive nonfiction look at tears—Why do we cry? What does it mean? Can tears be insincere?—and the inquiry weaves through a turbulent period in the author’s own life Simmering beneath the author's wide-ranging exploration of tears is the narrative throughline of her attempts to get pregnant, her pregnancy and anxiety over inherited depression, and her new motherhood in the throes of depression  “They say perhaps we cry when language fails, when words can no longer adequately convey our hurt.” While reckoning with tumult in her own life—the death of a close friend, the birth of her first child—Christle probes the act of crying with radiant curiosity This book is genuinely fun to read, despite (or perhaps because of!) its subject matter; it's delightful and endearing, funning and surprising and brimming with discovery, and the super-short sections—threads formatted as paragraphs or even sentences—mean you can whip through the book quickly. For fans of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize series, Heidi Julavits, Eula Biss, or Maggie Nelson, as well as Insomnia by Marina Benjamin (Catapult), The Crying Book is poetic and intimate, while also deeply and astonishingly researched
      The examples Christle presents of crying and tears are remarkable, harrowing, heartbreaking, and inspiring in equal measure: the racially weaponized nature of white women's tears, dismissed mother's tears, tears at a moment of national crisis, and more; they can also be delightful and surprising, like Joan Didion’s method for stopping tears 
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     The Crying Book has moments of glittering, winking humor: “Hard to feel you are too tragic a figure when the tears mix with snot. There is no glamour in honking.” The Crying Book will include black-and-white photos throughout
    
    
     
    Bookseller Praise for The Crying Book
    
    "The Crying Book is a lyrical, literary, and marauding meditation on a human act with a long history of mystery and misunderstanding. Poet Heather Christle began researching and writing this sui generis social science memoir at a time when tears were most copious for her, while both grieving the suicide of a close friend and anxiously preparing for the birth of her daughter. What emerges from Christle’s exploration of the act of crying is both intimate and intellectual, particular and profound, as she dives into the significance of tears personally, scientifically, and historically." —Megan Bell, Underground Books (Carrollton, GA)
    "When, where, why do we cry? How is it that some are predisposed to cry little and others to weep endlessly? Why does it so often feel shameful? When does it relieve us, does it trap us in depression? Peaceful and powerful, The Crying Book is a poetic examination of the art of weeping. Poet Heather Christle meditates on tears, grief, in a graceful mourning song held together by personal experiences, scientific insight, and her most beloved—poetry. In the face of great loss, Christle’s account is crystalline and mystical, a necessary embrace for the bereaved, and validating manifesto to the tearful." —Mary Wahlmeier, The Raven Book Store (Lawrence, KS)
    "Heather Christle's The Crying Book is a beautiful exploration into why we cry, peeling back the layers of seemingly everyday moments in her life. Each short section gives you insight into either her thoughts, daily life, or a discovery she has made about crying. While at points it feels as if it meanders—in the most beautiful of ways—it always seems to circle back and connect together again. A sincere exploration. Readers will be as blown away by Christle's honest revelations as they will be by her beautiful prose." —Erin Gold, Pages Bookshop (Detroit, MI)
    "This one's for those of us who have cried half-naked in the kitchen, who have looked in the mirror, eyes puffy, snot dripping down your chin, and wondered what the hell you're doing. It's a collection of curiosities, memories, and deep research into art, history, politics, and poetry where Christle has fashioned together a hybrid compendium memoir of a little-understood yet everyday function of our lives. Such a weird, beautiful, insightful gift that will help me feel a little less alone in my next cry." —Luis Correa, Avid Bookshop (Athens, GA)
    "Of course I would read a book about crying! I can already hear the jokes at my expense from my coworkers. But in truth, this is a beautiful study on the subject—part memoir, part science, philosophy, history, and poetry. Heather Christle uses her research in part to make sense of her own depression, as well as the mental illness of loved ones and artists who have inspired her. I was highlighting passages and writing notes in margins, something I rarely do! Definitely a book I will revisit over and over." —Carl Kranz, Fountain Bookstore (Richmond, VA)
    "Fascinating and unique." —Buffy Cummins, Tattered Cover (Littleton, CO)
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    "Just as Maggie Nelson approached the color blue in her contemporary classic Bluets, Heather Christle uses crying and tears as lenses to explore an expanse of human experience made accessible through specificity. What arises from this approach is a profound awareness of relationship and interconnection—between crying, animals, emotion, parenting, race, gender, loss, friendship, sorrow, and despair. Christle illustrates how crying tethers us to life, demonstrating through autobiography and the biographies and works of others how bodily experience and physical sensation can indicate the greater complexities of life. Smart, attentive, always poetic, and sprinkled with humor, this book should be savored in stillness and over time." —Emma Richter, Literati Bookstore (Ann Arbor, MI)
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    “Are you a crier? I unabashedly am! I cry with books, commercials, conversations, in public, and in private. This book dives deep into the cultural and personal meanings behind crying. It is nearly poetic. I love the snippets, the style, and the overall depth of the book. Widely informative!” —Shane Mullen, Left Bank Books (St. Louis, MO)
    "Poet Heather Christle's first book of prose is a sweeping collage of all things tears. Throughout a series of lyrically tinged anecdotes, Christle presents a study of crying ranging from the scientific, philosophic, performative, linguistic, and domestic. With astute intellect and pure imaginative force, The Crying Book demands we examine our most vulnerable selves in a time when compassion feels all but absent." —Tyler Heath, Interabang Books (Dallas, TX)
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  • Nora Roberts: A Biography - cover

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    ABOUT THE BOOK 
    Nora Roberts scoffs at spineless hero­ines … “Weak, passive people don’t make good characters,” she says. She is equally brutal about needy men: “If a man wants someone to take care of him, he should get a dog as a companion and live with his mother.” - Washington Post 
    It was a dark and stormy night - although it may not have been stormy or even dark, but the infamous blizzard of February 1979 was enough to lock Nora Roberts inside with her two young sons board games and a rapidly decreasing supply of chocolate. For something new to do, she grabbed a tablet and began writing her first novel in longhand and voila, she had found what she was meant to do. By 1980 her first novel was published From such humble beginnings, Nora Roberts today has written over 200 books, countless articles and stories and earns over $60 million each year. Not bad for a highschool graduate with no formal college or writing training. 
    EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK 
    Her writing is full of strong powerful women, able to solve problems, and able enter into healthy solid relationships with men. Another thing that makes her writing unique is that unlike most romance writing, the point of view is not always female. Roberts, with four older brothers and two sons, understands the male point of view - something she learned since she was surrounded by men all her life. (She finally has a grand-daughter, so the streak of only male relatives is over.)  This often gives her books a new perspective and understanding of those stalwart heroes of romantic fiction.  Her women are quite capable and not waiting to be rescued. They are equal adversaries of the men, and their relationships capture the sexual tension that permeates each page. Roberts’ lovers hover between the sublime and the mundane, treating sex as a wonderful useful outlet, but it is not the all encompassing flame that obfuscates the remainder of life.
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