The author of Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too pens a collection personal essays, stories, poems—accompanied by his trademark illustrations—covering topics such as mental health, happiness, and what it means to belong.
There's something in the way Jonny Sun tells stories that makes you feel like he can see right through you. No matter the medium, he speaks directly to readers, inviting us to intimate conversations on loneliness, belonging and burnout ... Aware of and experienced in goodbyes, the writer course-corrects his energy to the present, to reorient himself in the communities around him ... When he doesn't have all the words to tell a story, the multihyphenate blends genres, mixing artistic medium like recipes and illustrations with written word ... Honest and opinionated, Sun feels like your friend. His words never push you in any particular direction but let you dwell in them. From MSN Messenger and jazz music to Tetris, the book considers a variety of topics, so transitioning from one essay to another may require you to step back and reflect on all the big ideas within the span of a few pages. The layout, divided into six parts, allows for the option of taking breaks between any stories, should you need it. It's rare that a book will physically accommodate what the writer seeks to accomplish — to provide breathing room for you to sit with loneliness and burnout, even if it means you are temporarily leaving his world to do so ... It isn't always apparent that his respective stories are tied to his identities, but every essay in Goodbye, Again is peppered with nuances informed by his constant moves, self-imposed expectations and bittersweet goodbyes, recognizable at first sight to another third culture kid in America. With these reflections, Sun is adept at selecting tidbits that a wider audience can relate to, like feeling misplaced in his childhood home but finding community at a neighborhood restaurant ... if you're feeling ready to reach out, try starting with Goodbye, Again. Take my word for it — let Jonny Sun into your life.
Sun’s captivating and immersive book invites readers to listen in as he thinks aloud on the page ... This book is at once sad and hopeful. It’s sad about the cultural pressure to be constantly working. It’s sad about the inevitability of change. It’s sad about the many ways we say goodbye to each other, whether ending a visit or moving away. But it’s also attentive to life and movement in unlikely places ... Through descriptions like these, the reader feels Sun’s desire for renewal. The book is hopeful as it shows how little moments from the past, something as simple as cooking an egg, can reverberate in the present. In this way, we never really say goodbye. We are still together, still remembering each other in small daily ways ... To spend time with this book is to spend time in the private world of a creative, sensitive person who finds life inviting, beautiful and rich, but also overwhelming, scary and exhausting. Goodbye, Again acknowledges the crushing constancy and anxiety of work, but it also celebrates the joy of creating something where nothing was before—the pleasure of being totally immersed in work and the way that work can make us come alive. By acknowledging both sides of this reality in gentle and specific ways, Sun ultimately gives his readers license to experience their own contradictions and to be fully human.
Readers familiar with Sun will appreciate his relatable voice as he details what it is to live with anxiety and depression but to still feel happy sometimes as well as to grow up and change while feeling nostalgic for the past ... Readers of David Sedaris will devour this collection; the stories are short but packed with eloquent detail that will lead readers to reminisce on their own lives ... This poetic, humorous, and heartfelt collection will have readers nodding along, laughing, and maybe even crying, but more than anything they will be engrossed and craving more. Similar to Sun’s previous work, this is another standout.