Stay True

Stay True

Literary Biography & Memoir
Paperback Published on: 14/09/2023
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A deeply moving memoir about growing up in the 90s, written in the wake of the senseless killing of a beloved friend.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Memoir.

'A quiet, occasionally hilarious, ultimately devastating book . . . the most moving and memorable piece of autobiography I read this year.' – The Independent, 'The Ten Best Books of 2023'

'A powerful and beautifully written meditation on guilt, memory and male friendship' – The Guardian, 'Best Books of the Year'

When Hua Hsu first meets Ken in a Berkeley college dorm room, he hates him. A frat boy with terrible taste in music, Ken seems exactly like everyone else. For Hua, who makes zines and haunts indie record shops, Ken represents all that he defines himself in opposition to – the mainstream. The only thing Hua, the son of Taiwanese immigrants, and Ken, whose Japanese American family has been in the US for generations, have in common is that, however they engage with it, American culture doesn’t seem to have a place for either of them.

But despite his first impressions, Hua and Ken become friends, a friendship built on late-night conversations over cigarettes, long drives along the California coast, and the successes and humiliations of everyday college life. And then violently, senselessly, Ken is gone, killed in a carjacking, not even three years after the day they first meet.

Capturing a coming-of-age cut short, and a portrait of a beautiful friendship, Stay True is an intimate memoir about growing up and moving through the world in search of meaning and belonging.

'One of the best nonfiction books about friendship ever, right up there with Patti Smith’s Just Kids'The Atlantic

  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan
  • ISBN: 9781035036370
  • Number of pages: 208
  • Weight: 157g
  • Dimensions: 197 x 131 x 13 mm

Customer Reviews

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Stay True
Exquisite Memoir of Grief and Identity
An exquisite memoir about adolescence and grief. Hua Hsu meets Ken at Berkeley and at first he doesn't 'get' him. They are like chalk and cheese. Hua is ea... READ MORE
Katy Wheatley
Stay True
Exquisite and raw
It’s a memoir he started writing 20 years ago and has clearly benefitted from time and experience to refine its story and messaging; the book does a good j... READ MORE
Katherine Tu