Hard to Love by Briallen Hopper

Hard to Love

A sharp and entertaining essay collection about the importance of multiple forms of love and friendship in a world designed for couples, from a laser-precise new voice.Sometimes it seems like there are two American creeds, self-reliance and marriage, and neither of them is mine. I experience myself as someone formed and sustained by others' love and patience, by student loans and stipends, by the kindness of strangers.Briallen Hopper's Hard to Lo...

Details Hard to Love

TitleHard to Love
Release DateFeb 5th, 2019
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing
GenreWriting, Essays, Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Feminism

Reviews Hard to Love

  • Thomas
    In some ways I feel like I have waited for this essay collection all my life. In Hard to Love, Briallen Hopper rejects the rigid dichotomy so often enforced in society: marry your romantic partner and live happily ever after, or grow old and die alone. Hopper trail blazes a courageous newer path, where she finds connection and love with her close friends. She also celebrates other underappreciated forms of love, like love of writing and art and l...
  • Briallen Hopper
    The best book I've ever written!
  • James Steichen
    I’ve been reading Briallen Hopper’s insightful prose for many years, and I’m excited to see all of her best work in one beautiful volume.Imagine if an Anne-of-Green-Gables-esque young woman grew up in late twentieth-century Washington state, wrote a dissertation on Uncle Tom’s Cabin and James Baldwin, had an encyclopedic knowledge of everything from cocktails to the Golden Girls, and went on to teach at Yale and Queens College. And she ca...
  • Emma Eisenberg
    If Carrie Bradshaw were v much smarter, more intersectional & more anti-racist & capitalist, this might be the book she'd write. We are in need of all the narratives about lives that do not proceed along a coupling, marriage, & baby track & Hopper's are better than most. I particularly appreciated the way she leaves open the space for both/and and neither/nor, ala "Sometimes it seems like there are two American creeds, self-reliance and marriage,...
  • Keri Walsh
    What could happen if we declared and even celebrated our mutual dependency on our friends and siblings, or on our church, work, political and other communities? What if we acknowledged the deep meaning we derive from our feelings for the books and movies and television that are most dear to us, or even the love we have for our most honored possessions? This book suggests that all of these kinds of undersung love can offer us nourishing alternativ...
  • Cara
    I so enjoyed the company of this book.
  • Sraah
    this helped me a lot when i needed it most. so many quotes really stood out to me. this book gave me strength in myself that kept trying to hide its face from my own self. i also really enjoyed learning about Cheers."The paradox was that my newfound self-reliance was a symptom of my utter reliance on him. I depended on his demand that I not depend. I leaned on not leaning on him. The irony was he left me anyway.""I was ashamed that I needed him e...
  • KayW4
    Full disclosure: I know the author, and I am mentioned in the acknowledgements (thanks Bri!). And let me tell you what an enormous relief it is that I am able to review this book after all. Because I decided a long time ago that I wouldn't review books by people I know if I don't love them (the books, I mean - although I suppose it often applies to the authors too). It's a little like writing recommendation letters for students (which I do freque...
  • Lindsey Centrella
    In our society, women are taught at an early age that the ultimate goal in life is to find true love and marry, and those who fail will be unhappy and feel unfulfilled. Through a series of experiences and critical analysis, Hopper reaffirms that love is not just romantic love, and a life well-lived can indeed happen with friendships, sisterhood, and family; all we have to do is reach out and lean on.
  • Emily Johnson
    This book is beautiful, searing, and helped me to think about love and friendship in new ways. If you are a human who knows other humans, you should read it.
  • Shonna Siegers
    I’m quoting here so my friends back in the Midwest might see what I’ve been trying to tell them, but they refuse to really see:“Chronically unmarried women have long endured the injustice of being set aside, ignored, dismissed, made invisible.”“...all too often female independence without the approval stamp of male desire is seen as a source of shame, and blamed on the spinsters supposed spiritual or sexual frigidity, and/or her ugly or...
  • Katie Bennett
    I loved it so freakin much. Hopper writes with as much intelligence as the best (Sontag, Solnit, Didion), but also with a kind of light touch and personableness that’s sometimes lacking from the very smart but very formal famous essayists. The collection focuses on relationships that exist beyond romance: friends, sisters, roommates, caretakers. Hopper shows that these relationships are just as important as romantic love, and by giving more att...
  • Tom
    Challenging, thought-provoking & empathy-raising read for an old Catholic guy. Smart, crystal clear prose.
  • Sarah
    The first essay was great! The rest were fine, but took too much time relating a theme to a book, movie, or TV show, sometimes spending several pages describing their plots. That's not what I was looking for.
  • Cristy
    3.5 stars
  • (a)lyss(a)
    I really wanted to like this book, it was on me for thinking it was something different.I appreciate that this book is raw and open and honest. Diving into the life of Hopper and her experience with codependency and how romantic love isn't the ultimate goal. It's a bit of a dense read that hits you hard.
  • Lydia Wang
    the essay on sperm banks / moby dick will stay with me for awhile, but not sure any of the others left a very positive or negative impression
  • Amyleigh
    Briallen Hopper`s essays are vulnerable and honest. Every bit of this I clung to. I loved the essay about wanting babies. I loved the essay about grief. I saw so much of myself in these words. Briallen Hopper`s essays are vulnerable and honest. Every bit of this I clung to. I loved the essay about wanting babies. I loved the essay about grief. I saw so much of myself in these words.