Tomorrow, My Book Baby Hits Shelves [#119]
You have been a part of the journey, and finally, Flawless: Lessons in Looks and Culture from the K-Beauty Capital will be out in the world.
Annyeonghaseyo from New York, where I am interrupting usual Hu’s Letter programming to focus on my book. Just this once.
That’s because after three years, but my non-fiction book Flawless is finally out TOMORROW, available everywhere books are sold (and at libraries too)! I’m hoping to see many of you as I crisscross the country on book tour. I'll be on CBS This Morning tomorrow to chat with GAYLE!
The journey to Flawless started nearly a decade ago, when I accepted NPR’s posting to a place I’d never even visited—Seoul, South Korea. In that vibrant, visual and virtual city, I was reminded of all the ways appearance is linked to worthiness, and how our looks get unfairly situated as a matter of personal responsibility.
I ended up meeting unforgettable people in Korea and gave birth to two of my daughters there. But when I moved back to the US, questions nagged at me:
Where should we draw the line on upgrading ourselves, now that our algorithms bombard us with what to look like, and so many procedures are within reach?
What would it take to have a beauty culture that wasn’t so . . . standardized?
What would it feel like to look in the mirror and not want to fix anything?
Flawless explores these questions, and more. I hope this book adds to what should be a global conversation about how to show up in our bodies without apology, to appreciate them for what they can feel and do, and to liberate ourselves from feeling like our supposed flaws make us any less worthy.
I believe in these ideas and hope you do, too. How you can help:
Get it this week in hardcover, ebook, or audiobook. If you want a SIGNED copy and cannot make it to an event, we have partnered with my local bookstore, Skylight Books in Los Angeles, for signed books you can order and get delivered straight to your home. The offer is staying open all week!
Amplify on socials! I've included a cover image for you below. Tag me @EliseWho on Twitter & Instagram, @WhoElise on TikTok, and on Facebook. #FlawlessTheBook.
Send me photos of the book in the wild and where you saw it.
Let me know what you think! Leave a review on Goodreads or Amazon.
Come see me on tour! NYC > Los Angeles > Culver City > Austin > Houston > San Francisco > Seattle > Phoenix > Boston > Dallas > Washington, DC. Details here.
Talk about Flawless with your communities and direct them to find out more at my website.
Invite me to speak to your book clubs, orgs, schools, companies! Contact me here.
Sign up for my newsletter Hu’s Letter? & share with friends!
So far I've appreciated the chance to discuss the book with WBEZ’s Nerdette podcast, with writer Nicole Zhu and explore how to talk about beauty with your kids at The Atlantic, among much else.
THIS WEEK: For my friends in NYC, a reminder we’re celebrating in person at The Korea Society in midtown TOMORROW. And then decamping to nearby bar after The details are HERE. I’m going to be in conversation with the brilliant Hannae Bae, and she’s coming armed with some THOUGHTS, I’m sure.
For my friends in LA, LAist (the station formerly known as KPCC) is hosting a public event at The Crawford in Pasadena where I’ll be in conversation with my friend and longtime colleague, Ailsa Chang. RSVP. The next night, to make sure the westside is represented, my partner and twice-published author Rachel Swaby will be in conversation with me at Village Well books.
Thank you for subscribing and all the ways you’ve supported the process of bringing this book into the world. It took a giant village and you’re part of it. I’ll be grateful always.
Select praise for Flawless!
“Hu’s study of Korea’s beauty cult is fascinating and disturbing, woven with threads of dark humor and personal experience.” —Kirkus (starred review)
“Flawless helps us ask hard questions and reclaim our agency in a world that wants to deny us our power.” —Eve Rodsky
“Well-researched and funny, it is Hu’s own vulnerability and keen observations on the endless project of female self-improvement that make each page sparkle.” —Alicia Menendez
“A fascinating, meticulously reported deep dive into Korean beauty culture.” —Doree Shafrir
“If you think that only women are trapped by a society that demands physical perfection, think again….Let me tell you dudes, the book gets under your skin–in all the right ways.” —Jake Adelstein
“Superbly researched and deeply insightful, Flawless is a timely, provocative, and fascinating must-read.” —Angie Kim
“Rais[es] surprisingly profound questions.” —People