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Leo, age not-quite-2   

This week
On the podcast today, Aminatou and I talk to our respective teen best friends (who we each remain very close to) about friendships forged in our youth. One thing that came up again and again as we wrote our book is that "teen drama" is not relegated to teenagers. Adults have lots of emotions, too, and seemingly petty conflicts that have a much bigger effect on us than they "should." We just tend to downplay or ignore them—to our detriment.  

I also spoke with SemiStories about the art of the care package, which is one I was lucky enough to learn from my own mother, who is a master of the medium. It's a fitting thing to link to this week, as snail mail is one of my favorite ways of keeping in touch with my dear high-school bestie Bridget, an incredible artist. She recently sent me a small painting, thick with teal and purple and yellow acrylic, and signed it on behalf of the artist: her young son. "P.S. I printed this card with my butt."

I hope your weekend contains something as delightful as a letter from an old friend ... or, even better, a painting made by a toddler's tiny booty.

I'm reading
"My body is a Confederate monument." A patriotic reminder that George and Martha Washington enslaved hundreds of people. Nikole Hannah-Jones on what is owed to Black Americans: "Racial income disparities today look no different than they did the decade before King’s March on Washington." The many "I can't breathe" cases you didn't hear about. How would prison abolition actually work? The story of a group of Black mothers in Ohio who marched for 18 months to integrate schools. What it's like to be Black in the publishing industry. Profiles of groundbreaking filmmakers Tourmaline and Michaela Coel. The online community rewriting lesbian TV characters. Parents aren't burning out, they're being crushed. Dahlia Lithwick with a reminder that Chief Justice John Roberts isn't a liberal or a centrist, he is a conservative perfectionist. How dollar stores foster violence and neglect. What facemasks have in common with condoms. On shame, shamelessness, and writing about sex. An ice-cream vendor adjusts to the pandemic. New short fiction by Brandon Taylor reckoning with racism, sexuality, and what's left behind by lovers in our lives. Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner on their 70-year friendship. The Walkman turns 40. A well-funded research effort to end menopause. A new terrifying thing to worry about: "rabbit ebola." Maybe it's time to legalize public drinking and stop doomscrolling. "Who said it was simple?"

Pie chart
I'm taking a break this week because it's a federal holiday in the U.S. The pie chart will be back next Friday!

I’m looking & listening
Jasmine Guillory on writing romance. And I'm ready to listen to a few upcoming new podcasts: Welcome to Your Fantasy, about the Chippendales; Driving the Green Book, about road trips and segregation; and Back Issue, about the stories behind formative cultural moments.

"You don't make the timeline. The virus makes the timeline." - Dr. Anthony Fauci in March, with a lesson for July.

I endorse

I learn so much from Mona Chalabi's gorgeous and informative hand-drawn infographics. And now she is offering a subscription so you can receive quarterly prints of her work! Sign yourself up.

Book events
Join us online as we discuss Big Friendship:

July 13, 7pm ET - In conversation with Samin Nosrat
July 14, 7pm GMT+1 - UK launch event
July 14, 7pm ET - Livestream with Death, Sex & Money
July 16, 7pm ET - In conversation with Mari Andrew

All of these require RSVP, and some are ticketed events that include a signed copy of the book. 

The Classifieds

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This is a rare exception to our standard classified ad style!
Click here for standard rates and info.

"Thanks for the weekly note. I always find something good in here. " -Jeremy. Something for everyone, really.

This newsletter is a digital care package.
Forward it to someone who survived your teen feelings.

Ann Friedman

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