Yuvi Zalkow is the author of I Only Cry with Emoticons (Red Hen Press 2022) and A Brilliant Novel in the Works (MP Publishing 2012). His short stories have been published in Glimmer Train, Narrative Magazine, Carve Magazine, Rosebud, The Los Angeles Review, and others. He received an MFA from Antioch University. Yuvi also uses his poor drawing skills to make YouTube videos and mobile apps that ooze with his worries and anxiety. You can find out too much information about him at yuvizalkow.com. Yuvi lives with his wife, kid, and grumpy cats in Portland, Oregon.
I Only Cry with Emoticons
Publication Date: June 7, 2022
Saul doesn’t get why he’s misunderstood. At his high-tech day job, he hides in the bathroom writing a novel about his dead grandfather and wonders why his boss wants to fire him. He tells his almost ex-wife about a blind date and wonders why she slams the door in his face. He aches with worry for his seven-year-old son, who seems happier living with his mom and her new man.
When the blind date becomes a complicated relationship, and Saul’s blunders at work threaten the survival of the company, Saul has to wake up and confront his fears.
I Only Cry with Emoticons is a quirky comedy that reveals the cost of being disconnected—even when we’re using a dozen apps on our devices to communicate—and an awkward man’s search for real connections, on and offline.
The Rumpus Book Club Pick, May 2022
Most Anticipated Books of 2022, The Rumpus
16 Upcoming Books from Indie Presses You’ll Love, BuzzFeed
Best Books of the Summer, Powell’s
“A socially awkward tech worker grapples with his impending divorce, his relationship with his young son, and his struggle to create human connections in a tech-driven world…. Told entirely from Saul’s perspective, the novel, like its protagonist, is full of endearing quirks. With many tongue-in-cheek references to current trends in technology and social media, including emojis periodically peppering the text, the novel is witty and fun. At the same time, the emotional struggles and social ineptitude from which Saul suffers lead to many surprisingly deep moments…the novel [is] a resounding success. A refreshingly zany story about the pitfalls of modern technology and the importance of chasing dreams.” —Kirkus Reviews
“[C]omic but still tender…. I Only Cry with Emoticons masterfully captures both the anxiety and hope of our modern lives.”—BuzzFeed
“Saul can’t stop messing up his life, but you can’t help but love him for being the sad, funny, awkward, self-deprecating mess he is. With endless wit and quirky charm, Yuvi Zalkow examines the myriad ways we lose touch with our lives and with each other, and the ways we fumblingly inch our way back. I Only Cry with Emoticons is the perfect fun read for all of us other awkward, anxiety-ridden, dis- and misconnected messes in this mess of a world.”—Powell’s
“What I love about Zalkow’s fiction is how he zips so many of our contemporary anxieties into smart prose…. I Only Cry with Emoticons is tender, searing, and consistently relatable. Zalkow takes the fragmentation of modern life—like our constantly beeping phones, our up-next streams, the very nature of the always-on internet—and transforms this digital garbage into a story that takes hold of the heart.”
—Wendy Fox, Bomb Magazine
“A sly, forthright comedy about the intersection of love and technology, men and women, and the way our devices have become a loud third wheel. I couldn’t put it down.”
—Monica Drake, author of Clown Girl and The Stud Book
“Explores the ordinary ways our lives can go terribly wrong despite our best intentions. In their often-hilarious attempts to find common ground, Zalkow’s characters navigate self-sabotage, second chances and the complicated fluid definition of family in the twenty-first century.”
—Margaret Malone, author of People Like You