Stay True

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Memoir

Hua Hsu author

Format:Paperback

Publisher:Pan Macmillan

Published:14th Sep '23

£10.99

Available for immediate dispatch.

Stay True cover

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

At once a coming-of-age memoir, a devastating elegy for a departed friend, and a mixtape of all the music and other shards of culture and experience that coalesce into an identity, Stay True is wildly original . . . A glorious, unforgettable book -- Patrick Radden Keefe, author of Empire of Pain and Say Nothing
Impossible to put down . . . profoundly moving . . . a work of intellect, honesty and love * The Guardian *
A remarkably moving account of male affection and grief * The Observer *
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' *
An exceptional portrait of male affection and a young life senselessly cut short * The Independent, 'Best Memoir: 2023' *
A powerful and beautifully written meditation on guilt, memory and male friendship * The Guardian, 'Best Books of the Year' *
Quietly wrenching . . . This is a memoir that gathers power through accretion — all those moments and gestures that constitute experience, the bits and pieces that coalesce into a life * The New York Times *
A beautiful memoir that goes deep into the heart of friendships * The Financial Times *
A luminous and tender-hearted story. . . Stay True is a nuanced and beautiful evocation of young adulthood in all its sloppy, exuberant glory * The Wall Street Journal *
[Hsu writes] with devastating emotional precision, questioning the possibility of meaning in tragedy and the value of the stories we tell while attempting to find it . . . an extraordinary, devotional act of friendship * The Washington Post *
This book is exquisite and excruciating and I will be thinking about it for years and years to come -- Rachel Kushner, author of The Mars Room
Remarkable . . . an evocative coming-of-age story about the formation of identity, friendship, and grief * AnOther Magazine *
This is writing at its best . . . one of those books that is the sum total of a writer’s life in thinking, craft, and curiosity, made felt at last, so that when the sentences come, they come with a deliberate, patient, and precise force -- Ocean Vuong, author of On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
I was softly heartbroken by Stay True . . . [A] once-in-a-lifetime book -- Jia Tolentino, author of Trick Mirror
Not since Ann Patchett wrote about her friend Lucy Grealy in Truth and Beauty has there been such an achingly tender book about a platonic friendship * Los Angeles Times *
Funny and wise . . . What a gift it is to remember the people you loved, and who loved you, while you were busy becoming yourself * The Atlantic *
Stay True is about the beautiful, unpredictable alchemy of how friendship—particularly male friendship—forms in the first place * GQ *
A moving portrait of a persona undone by tragedy * Vogue *
This book is going to break your heart. * The Australian *

ISBN: 9781035036370

Dimensions: 197mm x 131mm x 13mm

Weight: 157g

208 pages