Goodbye, Again by Jonny Sun

"Whenever I am in an unfamiliar city, I prefer staying at a friend's. To do so feels like a special kind of knowing them, and a special kind of feeling at home. If a home is who you are, in a way, rendered physically and externally, then to stay at a friend's home is to stay not only with them but also among them, surrounded by this external expression of them."

GOODBYE, AGAIN

The wonderfully original author of Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too gives us a collection of touching and hilarious personal essays, stories, poems—accompanied by his trademark illustrations—covering topics such as mental health, happiness, and what it means to belong.

Jonny Sun is back with a collection of essays and other writings in his unique, funny, and heartfelt style. The pieces range from long meditations on topics like loneliness and being an outsider, to short humor pieces, conversations, and memorable one-liners.

Jonny's honest writings about his struggles with feeling productive, as well as his difficulties with anxiety and depression will connect deeply with his fans as well as anyone attempting to create in our chaotic world.

It also features a recipe for scrambled eggs that might make you cry.


What I thought

Reading this one felt like a true gift. I found Jonny so deeply relatable right from the get go with this collection of essays and illustrations. I listened to the audiobook as well. Jonny's voice is so utterly soothing, I felt like I could have listened to him all day, his voice a lullaby to my ears. It was so beautiful and enhanced the entire reading experience. I felt like his personality shines through completely in the audio.

The book itself is absolutely gorgeous, with some of the essays having the power to bring tears to my eyes. Some I felt I could have written myself because they were just that relatable. 

Jonny is so entirely bare, raw, vulnerable, and innocent in this book, and at times I feel like he was saying things that most of us with anxious minds are so desperately trying to convey but are unable to do so. 

There's something very sweet and kind about each story, with the tales touching delicately on subjects of family, friends, work, and new places. Jonny is extremely contemplative and managed to capture much of what goes on inside my head. 

The chapters on Filling the Blankness, This is Really Happening, and Making rest were completely relatable for me. 

"I make up another project for myself, I hole myself up and work and write and catch up on other projects, and fill up all the emptiness until I can have a purpose and a fullness defined for me again on Monday."

I read the egg recipes with tears streaming down my face. Just like the blurb states, "It also features a recipe for scrambled eggs that might make you cry." Well, it did. It made me sob. There is something so simple and pure about these 'recipes' that make them completely beautiful. I felt a sudden pang in my gut, and an immediate desire to call my dad. It's funny that Jonny talks about eggs in this part, because my own dad makes me the best scrambled eggs and always puts them in a mug for me "with just a touch of salt and pepper for taste," he says. He knows exactly how I like them and when I need them. I've never quite been able to make them like him. 

I found this part of the book so emotionally resonant. 

There is a chapter called 'I am trying to decide if I should buy two rolls of paper towel or three,' in which Jonny manages to capture the essence of the anxious mind so accurately. What he is writing and illustrating is the same as what I feel deep within me when in those same situations. 

Goodbye, Again is breathtakingly sweet and deeply intimate. The stories are all so ordinary but yet they all feel extraordinary. Jonny's prose is stunning. He pours each part of himself onto the pages through these gorgeous essays. I truly loved this one, and I will cherish it.

Photo by Rozette Rago

Jonny Sun
is the New York Times and international bestselling author of Goodbye, Again, everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too, and the illustrator of Gmorning, Gnight! by Lin-Manuel Miranda. He is a screen and TV writer, and wrote for the Emmy-nominated sixth season of the Netflix Original Series BoJack Horseman. His work has appeared in The New Yorker and McSweeney’s. Time magazine named him one of the 25 Most Influential People on the Internet, and his TED Talk on loneliness that has been viewed online more than 3.5 million times.

Goodbye, Again is available for purchase at Indigo and on Kobo. Check GoodReads for additional retailers. 

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