‘The Crying Book’ author Heather Christle searches out books for pleasure and plight
After losing a friend to suicide and then plunging into a depression, the poet Heather Christle had tears very much on her mind. The result was her first book of nonfiction, “ The Crying Book ,” which is a mix of natural, social and personal history about why us human shed tears. In addition to her best-selling book, Christle is the author of four poetry collections. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker and many other journals. The New Hampshire native recently moved to Atlanta to become an assistant professor of creative writing at Emory University.
CHRISTLE: I’m working on a new nonfiction project, which is about Kew Gardens, the royal botanical garden outside of London. I’m reading many books on and to the side of that subject. The biggest one is “The History of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew” by Ray Desmond, a five-pound book that I just took on a three-day trip because I couldn’t bear to be away from it. It’s a layman’s history. It’s got beautiful illustrations and incredible maps. I love maps. I’m in the midst of “Nature’s Government: Science, Imperial Britain, and the ‘Improvement’ of the World” by Richard Drayton, which is more scholarly. I’m also reading the novel “Gardens in the Dunes” by Leslie Marmon Silko. I’m learning from it but I also take deep pleasure in it.
BOOKS: What are you reading strictly for pleasure?
CHRISTLE: I went on a big Sigrid Nunez kick recently. I read “The ...
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