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Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws Paperback – May 2, 2006


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Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws + Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation + Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press (May 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583227202
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583227206
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A celebrated pioneer for the LGBTIQ community, KATE BORNSTEIN is the author of My Gender Workbook: How to Become a Real Man, a Real Woman, the Real You, or Something Else Entirely and Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and The Rest of Us, as well as the editor with S. Bear Bergman of Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation. Her plays and performance pieces include Hidden: A Gender, The Opposite Sex Is Neither, and Too Tall Blondes In Love. She lives in New York City with her partner, Barbara Carrellas.

More About the Author

Kate Bornstein is a performance artist and playwright whose latest book was released May 1, 2012--a memoir, A QUEER AND PLEASANT DANGER, with the subtitle, "The true story of a nice Jewish boy who joins the Church of Scientology and leaves twelve years later to become the lovely lady she is today."

Kate has authored several award-winning books in the field of Women and Gender Studies, including GENDER OUTLAW: ON MEN, WOMEN, AND THE REST OF US, and MY GENDER WORKBOOK which she is currently updating for a second edition after 15 years.

Her 2006 book, HELLO, CRUEL WORLD: 101 ALTERNATIVES TO SUICIDE FOR TEENS, FREAKS, AND OTHER OUTLAWS propelled Kate into an international position of anti-bully advocacy for marginalized youth which has earned her two citations of honor from the New York City Council and garnered praise from civil rights groups around the globe. Kate's books are taught in five languages in over 200 colleges and universities around the world.

Kate lives in New York City with her girlfriend, three cats, two dogs, and one turtle.

Photo Credit: Barbara Carrellas, 2012.

Customer Reviews

This book could save your life.
Bill Brent
Buy this book, read this book - and buy a second copy for your local library.
Seth M. Marnin
I can't remember when I started feeling like this.
Glenn Miller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 61 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on August 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
I'm not a teen, but I am a long-time freak in the middle of what I sincerely hope is the worst set of circumstances I will face in my life. I am losing someone I love more than just about anything to a very slow and painful disease.

I haven't felt hope in nine months. This book gave me hope.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Travis Aschemeyer on May 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
I was given this book by a school counselor on our final session. I had just graduated and my school health insurance was ending, but I was still depressed and suicidal. This book ended up being a 'portable counselor' - and actually helped me more than counseling sessions did.

The book is written as though she's talking to you. Reading through this book is like talking to an **experienced** friend who has all sorts of suggestions. With each suicide alternative she usually also refers to other books/media to check out if you're interested.

I've read the first part of the book 3 times since it was given to me less than a year ago. Yet, I still haven't entirely read through all the alternatives - I typically find something that I can work on that helps me feel better. Hello Cruel World *always* helps if I can remember to reach for it, but sometimes I just can't even make it to my bookshelf. This book is especially helpful if you're dealing with LGBT and gender issues.

The best part about Hello Cruel World is that it's easy to read when you're depressed. Nothing is easy to read when you're depressed, right? It was written intimately and warm and each of the alternatives is written with a brevity that makes it bearable. Her cheesy humor somehow works when you're wanting to kill yourself. Just flip to something that sounds interesting and it's hardly a chore to read it.

I let a friend borrow the book a couple weeks ago but this is one of those books that I need to keep track of because I never know when I'll need it again. I'm actually here to purchase a copy for that friend because I really need mine again. =P

BTW: Just a tip - If you're transgender MtF I recommend Julia Serano's "Whipping Girl" before reading Kate's "Gender Outlaw" or any other trans specific books.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Bill Brent on April 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book could save your life. I wish it had been around when I was a suicidal seventh-grader. One of the readers at Amazon.com says, "Every high school library should carry this book!" and that's probably the best possible endorsement. This is a wonderful book.

Hello, Cruel World is the best depiction I have seen of the real world of troubled teens. It accurately locates the bully as the most common cause of self-esteem issues that can take years, even decades, to resolve. Kate's only rule for readers is "don't be mean," and that is certainly the most obvious characteristic of every bully I've ever faced. Kate's winning personality and irresistible sense of humor prevail over the heavy topic matter. Her writing is inspired, passionate, and empathic. There is little if anything that goes uncovered here. (Well, okay, she includes "sex worker" but omits "drug dealer" and "rock and roller" from her list of freak-admissible careers in alternative 34, "Sing for your Supper." I mean, if you're going to include the Unholy Trinity, you might as well go all the way, right?)

Actually, my only real quibble with this book (and it is a quibble) is that I thought this book might be even "safer" if the cover were more discreet. I admit that it's a bit busy for my taste, but perhaps a plain cover would have been even better for the sake of the kids who might have to sneak around with this book.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By HoneyDu on July 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
At a recent benefit at Bluestockings Bookstore, Kate handed out "GET OUT OF HELL FREE CARDS" where she promised to negotiate with God on our behalf and accept any punishment inflicted on us (even going to hell in our place) for taking the advice she lists in "101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and Other Outlaws," which encourages us to save our lives by whatever means necessary. Amung her 101 alternatives to suicide she lists: cutting, starving yourself, taking drugs, and finding the love of your life. All of which she lists with an indication of hearts or skulls the effectiveness of each technigue. Although I did not take any of her suggestions, upon finishing the book I was no longer as suicidal...maybe because I felt like she would accept me no matter how messed up (or un-acceptable) I am and this made me feel better. Every High School Library Should Carry This Book!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By David Israelstam on November 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
My three favorite passages:(not verbatim - as I remember them)

1:In high school, we didn't kill the freaks - we did something worse - we made them want to kill themselves.

2:The next time you want to kill yourself - kill the offending part of yourself instead- selective serial suicide.

3: I want to become that which I'm most attracted to.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By W on August 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
I don't know if it's boorish to predicate a review with my own trans status, but hey, I am if it matters. Seriously, I love Kate Bornstein because she tells us exactly what we need to hear - we are human, we suffer, we do not deserve to be punished (unless that's what we want). I use all Kate's books not just for myself, but to point other people in my life toward as a gender primer and affirmation. She's an easy, interesting and heartfelt author who shares the secrets so many of us are too afraid to admit are our own. This is an essential reader.
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