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My first book, Hard to Love, is an easy-to-love collection of essays about love and friendship. It arrives on February 5, 2019, but you can preorder it now!

Here’s what some early readers have to say about it:

“Hopper’s essays seem like love songs . . . delicate, thoughtful elegies to friendship, compassion, and grace. A fresh, well-crafted collection.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Briallen Hopper’s essay collection, Hard to Love, is an exceptional work: an expert tangle of memoir, literary criticism, pop cultural analysis and political meditation that will make you think differently and more deeply about family, friendship, faith and Cheers. It is at once inviting and spiky, hard and funny; it is smart as hell. Hopper is capacious in her curiosities, pointed in her arguments and extremely generous to her readers: she invites us in, takes us where she’s been, and shows us what she's made of it all.  Hard to Love is warm, buoyant, connective; I felt less alone having read it.”—Rebecca Traister, author of All the Single Ladies and Good and Mad

“Briallen Hopper’s extraordinary essay collection, Hard to Love, is full of heart and wisdom and humor and surprise. It has sharpened and electrified my senses of intimacy and family—how both are more multiple, more complicated, and ultimately more capacious than I’d understood them to be. It moves effortlessly between the personal and political, exposing all the ways in which they have never been separable at all. I know I’ll return to this book over and over during the years to come: for its gifts of insight and delight, for the primal and powerful gift of its company—and I know I’ll be giving it to others, to the people I love most, so they can experience its gifts as well.” —Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams and The Recovering 

“I adored Briallen Hopper’s Hard to Love and its miraculous intermingling of revelatory criticism and soulful memoir. Hopper’s essays tell the story of a life in reading, baking, hoarding, praying, and watching Cheers; in friends, roommates, siblings, and, last and least, lovers. In its excesses of tenderness, intelligence, and pleasure, this book brilliantly puts the lie to the idea that a single life is less full—or less complicated—than a coupled one.” —Alice Bolin, author of Dead Girls

“The best essay collection I’ve read in ages. Briallen Hopper’s rare gifts of intellectual rigor, spiritual depth, and genuine curiosity make her a must-read voice on Cheers, Miss Havisham GIFs, sperm banks, Flannery O’Connor, and everything else she turns her brilliant mind to. In her nuanced exploration of the delights and limits of found families, she’s earned a place as the poet laureate of single womanhood.” —Ada Calhoun, author of St. Marks Is Dead and Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give

“A loving, thoughtful meditation on the resilience and importance of female friendship. I found myself deeply comforted by Hard to Love. Briallen Hopper lets us know: We are not alone in the universe after all.” —Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins and All Grown Up

Hard to Love manages to portray friendship in all of its glorious messiness; in deft strokes, Hopper reminds us that death-do-us-part romance is not the only way to love, or to live. A satisfying, eye-opening examination.”— Esmé Weijun Wang, author of The Border of Paradise and The Collected Schizophrenias

“Our culture often tells us we have two options: coupled and loved, or alone and unloved. Briallen Hopper posits a third option: uncoupled but very much loved and loving. Gently but firmly, these essays refute our binary assumptions by teasing out the satisfying complexities that lie between and beyond the old poles. Rarely has friendship been more articulately defended.” Anne Fadiman, author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down and The Wine Lover’s Daughter

Imagine idling obediently at an intersection only to have some passerby tap on your window and point out that there is no traffic light. In Hard to Love, Briallen Hopper shows us there isn’t even a stop sign. With intrepid imagination, Hopper conjures a world beyond our most imperious cultural assumptions, a world beyond obedience. What are we waiting for? Read this book.” —Gregory Pardlo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Digest and Air Traffic 

“Hopper debuts with a smart group of essays on contemporary relationships. A literature scholar, Hopper cultivates a voice that is sophisticated and analytical, but also earnest and eager ... [S]he demonstrates how being deeply personal with the people in one’s life can help one to be critically engaged.” —Publishers Weekly

“Smart and studied reflections on the power of friendship . . . While families are bound by blood and couples often by the law of marriage, the bonds of friendship expand and contract over time. Hopper fervently embraces this and the rich intimacies it affords.” ―Booklist