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Publisher's Summary

“They say comedy equals tragedy plus time: This very funny account of an often miserable childhood is proof.” (People)

“What a strong, funny, heartbreaking memoir, with a voice that is completely its own (written by a woman who very much seems to be completely her own, as well.) I loved it.” (Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times best-selling author of Big Magic and Eat, Pray, Love)

An uproarious, moving memoir about a grandmother’s ferocious love and redefining what it means to be family

“If you fight that motherf**ker and you don’t win, you’re going to come home and fight me.” Not the advice you’d normally expect from your grandmother - but Danielle Henderson would be the first to tell you her childhood was anything but conventional.

Abandoned at 10 years old by a mother who chose her drug-addicted, abusive boyfriend, Danielle was raised by grandparents who thought their child-rearing days had ended in the 1960s. She grew up Black, weird, and overwhelmingly uncool in a mostly white neighborhood in upstate New York, which created its own identity crises. Under the eye-rolling, foul-mouthed, loving tutelage of her uncompromising grandmother - and the horror movies she obsessively watched - Danielle grew into a tall, awkward, Sassy-loving teenager who wore black eyeliner as lipstick and was struggling with the aftermath of her mother’s choices. But she also learned that she had the strength and smarts to save herself, her grandmother gifting her a faith in her own capabilities that the world would not have most Black girls possess.

With humor, wit, and deep insight, Danielle shares how she grew up and grew wise - and the lessons she’s carried from those days to these. In the process, she upends our conventional understanding of family and redefines its boundaries to include the millions of people who share her story.

©2021 Danielle Henderson (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

Most Anticipated Book of the Summer with Good Morning America | TIME | EW | Bustle | Bitch | PureWow | HelloGiggles | The AV Club | Yahoo! Life | CBS

“What a strong, funny, heartbreaking memoir, with a voice that is completely its own (written by a woman who very much seems to be completely her own, as well.) I loved it.” (Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times best-selling author of Big Magic and Eat, Pray, Love)

“I’ve struggled writing this blurb because hyperbole is unbelievable. Except the Grand Canyon really is astonishing and the universe does fill us with awe and Danielle Henderson’s memoir, The Ugly Cry, is the funniest memoir I have ever read. It is also achingly sad. And powerfully redemptive. The Ugly Cry raises the bar on how hilarious and brave and weird and crazy and screamingly brilliant a memoir can be. Danielle Henderson has knocked it out of the park and into the stratosphere with this debut.” (Augusten Burroughs, number-one New York Times best-selling author of Running with Scissors)

"Henderson writes with an incredible amount of vulnerability, presenting her story with a cleareyed compassion for her mother, grandmother, and, ultimately, herself. A redemptive memoir about a Black woman’s victory over childhood abuse, racism, and mental illness.” (Kirkus

What listeners say about The Ugly Cry

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Both Funny & Heart Wrenching in the Perfect Ratio.

I bought this book after listening to Danielle’s podcast and I am so glad I did. I found so much joy in listening to this book, but that’s not to say my heart didn’t sink at many parts of Danielle’s story as well. I also found that while our childhood and lives are completely different, there were a few small instances of relatability that just made listening to Danielle’s story a treasure. It is important to listen to stories we don’t relate to, but those tiny moments no matter how few that connect us are what is beautiful about the human condition.

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fantastic

I got this book after I heard about it on Danielle's awesome podcast. I wasn't sure what to expect but I really enjoyed it. Heartbreaking and honest without being trite.

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Beautiful. Hilarious. You will Ugly Cry.

I’m so glad I picked this up on audiobook. Danielle Henderson’s voice is soothing and melodic, while dropping a plethora of f-bombs, always said by her grandmother. This story is about love and loss and I am better for hearing it.

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I’m so glad I listened to this book

I loved this book! It was funny and sad , it was raw! It was real! She ‘s just an awesome writer! But What happened to Corey ( her brother) ?

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Laughed & Cried

I laughed & cried my way through this book. Great read! Will definitely recommend.

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Full of life , love and lots of laughs.

A descriptive tale of love , family dysfunction, laughter. How one girls will helped her overcome and find love , her grandmom. Great book.

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Must Listen!!

This memoir is fantastic. it is packed with humor and sorrow. It is an absolute must-listen! It is truly enjoyable!!

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It made me ugly cry

As a child raised partly by her grandparents, this hit home. Beautifully written and heartbreakingly real, Danielle has a melodic voice and a powerful story to share about life, truth, mothers, daughters, and grandmothers.

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Just finished with tears in my eyes

Very well written and presented! I feel like this book tells such an important story that made me laugh and cry, but most importantly made me think. Danielle, you are a true talent and I hope you do a “part 2” when you are 60. Enjoy your new crazy home with your grandma- sending you love

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  • 06-17-21

Excellent!

This was both laugh out loud funny and heartbreaking. I found her ability to find humor in some devastatingly painful events to be amazing. Her courage, strength, and willingness to share her story is admirable. I only wish I could learn more about what happened later in terms of relationships with certain people and family members mentioned in the book.

I highly recommend this book!

2 people found this helpful