Jeffrey A. Kottler's book presents a comprehensive, lucid, and illuminating anatomy of this amazing metaphor for human feeling. Tears are "an embellished language system that augments spoken words." Kottler, a therapist, examines the emotional expression that lies behind tears of grief, despondency, relief, exhilaration, and ecstasy. He looks at the evolution of crying as a human behavior and then goes on to explore the different ways men and women handle tears.

There is also a chapter on crying across cultures. One Jewish proverb characterizes tears as the soap that washes the soul. As Kottler makes clear, crying can be a cathartic and transformational experience, whether done in private or in concert with others. The Language of Tears presents an excellent overview of this language of intimacy.