Falling Back in Love with Being Human: Letters to Lost Souls (Paperback)

Falling Back in Love with Being Human: Letters to Lost Souls By Kai Cheng Thom Cover Image
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A national bestseller in Canada, hailed by The New York Times as an “intimate expression of self-acceptance and forgiveness, tenderly written to fellow trans women and others.”

“Required reading.”—Glennon Doyle, #1 bestselling author of Untamed


What happens when we imagine loving the people—and the parts of ourselves—that we do not believe are worthy of love?

Kai Cheng Thom grew up a Chinese Canadian transgender girl in a hostile world. As an activist, psychotherapist, conflict mediator, and spiritual healer, she’s always pursued the same deeply personal mission: to embrace the revolutionary belief that every human being, no matter how hateful or horrible, is intrinsically sacred.

But then Kai Cheng found herself in a crisis of faith, overwhelmed by the viciousness with which people treated one another, and barely clinging to the values and ideals she’d built her life around: justice, hope, love, and healing. Rather than succumb to despair and cynicism, she gathered all her rage and grief and took one last leap of faith: she wrote. Whether prayers or spells or poems—and whether there’s a difference—she wrote to affirm the outcasts and runaways she calls her kin. She wrote to flawed but nonetheless lovable men, to people with good intentions who harm their own, to racists and transphobes seemingly beyond saving. What emerged was a blueprint for falling back in love with being human.

About the Author

Kai Cheng Thom is an award-winning writer, performance artist, and community healer in Toronto. She was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and won the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ2S+ Emerging Writers for her surrealist novel, Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl’s Confabulous Memoir. She is also the author of several other books, including a poetry collection, an essay collection, and two children’s picture books. Kai Cheng writes the advice column “Ask Kai: Advice for the Apocalypse” for Xtra.

Praise For…

“[An] intimate expression of self-acceptance and forgiveness, tenderly written to fellow trans women and others.”The New York Times

“This is a book, a really beautiful one, about holding onto your ideals through a crisis of faith.”—Bustle

“[An] incredibly moving collection of love letters to lost souls . . . [Kai Cheng Thom’s] effort to get back to the place of love she alludes to in the title results in a breathtaking book of formally diverse pieces—letters, prayers, spells, poems—that channel her grief and rage. It’s impossible not to be inspired by her simultaneous generosity and fierceness, as well as the sheer beauty of her words. This is another book on this list that has already achieved queer classic status.”Autostraddle, (Best Queer Books of 2023)

“Transformative . . . all of [the letters] balance holding space for the reality of harm while seeking to find love. They are interspersed with reflection and questions, which help guide the reader to think and feel more deeply. It’s a tiny book but a profoundly impactful one.”—Sarah Neilson for Them, Our Favorite LGBTQ+ Books of 2023

“Exactly the life-affirming, healing read we all need in 2023.”—Susie Dumond for Book Riot

“Required reading for the untamed soul . . . In these tender and revolutionary poems and prompts, Kai Cheng Thom promises that there is no part of ourselves beyond saving. The collection reminded me how to love others and myself.”—Glennon Doyle, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Untamed

“[This is] a gentle and radical book that’s ultimately loving and inclusive of all the nuances and contradictions of the world. At a time when it can be hard to love humanity, this book offers compassion for where we are and dreams for where we could be.”—Shondaland

“Thom is perhaps the most interesting and most loving interventionist in queer cultural spaces . . . As always, Thom brings a signature lyricism to her poems and reflections, one that always feels more like a spell of attraction than a lapidary effort.”—Xtra

“Deeply intimate.”—Diva

“It’s difficult to define this book as a collection of letters, essays, or prose poems. Ultimately, they’re the voice of a speaker searching for comfort, sending words into the cosmos to say, I am not alone, and hearing the echo when a reader realizes, neither am I.”—Counter Arts

“Kai Cheng Thom embodies revolutionary love. She shows us how to love others bravely, even those hostile to us, as a way to heal our own tender hearts. Her poems are vivid love letters, confrontations, invitations. This tiny collection contains all the wounds and caresses in the world.”—Valarie Kaur, author of See No Stranger

“Kai Cheng Thom’s new collection is a tender incantation against the failures of hope. In these letters, Thom reaches toward lost souls of all kinds: outlaws, movement martyrs, fellow trans femmes of color, and ‘the ones this world was never made for,’ to whom she sends poems that read like prayers, rituals to lay down our collective hurts. I am grateful for these spells and balms, for the worlds of generosity this book dares into being.”—Franny Choi, author of The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On

“Heartrending . . . Thom’s unvarnished honesty and earnestness immediately draws readers in. . . . This fierce and tender volume leaves a mark.”Publishers Weekly, starred review
Product Details
ISBN: 9780593594988
ISBN-10: 0593594983
Publisher: Dial Press Trade Paperback
Publication Date: August 1st, 2023
Pages: 176
Language: English