Synopses & Reviews
In this wide-ranging and provocative study, Tom Lutz looks at the ways people have understood weeping from the earliest known representations of tears in the fourteenth century B.C. to the tears found in today's films. Drawing on works of literature, philosophy, art, and science from the writings of Plato and Darwin to the paintings of Picasso to modern medical journals, he explores the multiple meanings and uses of tears.
"A dry-eyed romp through 3,000 years of human history from Aristotle to Tammy Faye Bakker in pursuit of the meaning of crying....Written with intelligence and wit, this is one book you can read without having to weep." People
"A tour de force of erudition....Lutz writes with an unassuming, lucid prose, whose directness and clarity add to the book's appeal.... [H]e certainly leads the pack, and with admirable panache." Washington Post
"An exceptionally fine, interdisciplinary study that uses physiology, individual and social psychology, literature, cultural history, and other disciplines to help us understand in depth the most basic expression of human sorrow." Kirkus Reviews
"A clear-eyed look at the freighted meanings of teary eyes... An affable, stimulating essay." Gilbert Taylor, Booklist
"It's the virtue of Crying that it starts you thinking about such matters. Tears will never seem so natural or spontaneous, or so easily explained, once you've read it." Robert Campbell, The New York Times Book Review
"Highly readable. . . . A fascinating and thoughtful book."--Merle Rubin,
About the Author
Tom Lutz lives in Los Angeles and Iowa City, where he teaches at the University of Iowa. He is the author of American Nervousness, 1903: A History of Nervous Illness at the Turn of the Century.