This week's list
I love a good Grub Street Diet. It's so fun to get to be able to spy on what a person eats and snacks on over the course of a week. Jiayang Fan's edition is particularly great. She describes Muscadine grapes as "like a summer boyfriend," sleeps all day and works all night, and special orders 50 packets of hot sauce from Taco Bell. In other words, she lives exactly the life that I want a great writer to live. Jiayang Fan Misses Chinatown's Muscadines (If you're not already familiar with Jiayang's writing, here's an incredible essay about her mother that she's adapting into a book.)
Mandy Patinkin and his wife Kathryn Grody are so delightfully themselves. As quarantine started, their son Gideon moved in with them and started filming their day-to-day interactions and posting them online. Those videos became big hits because they're just so funny and charming. Here's Mandy and Kathryn talking about whether they'd trade age for youth. Or here's Kathryn and Gideon making fun of Mandy's pants and then truly baffled when Mandy starts responding in a British accent. The best part is, they've used all the social media attention to get out the vote and fundraise for lesser-known down ballot candidates. Their PSAs are the rare celebrity PSAs that are actually good. And here's an interview with Mandy about his career and newfound social media presence: Mandy Patinkin Is Still Singing
I just finished reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sun. I read Americanah a few years back and loved that too so now I think I'm going to go down the rabbit hole and read everything she's written. Half of a Yellow Sun takes place during the Biafran War, which is a piece of history I knew nothing about. Something I've been thinking about at this dark moment in the United States is how, when countries don't learn about or reckon with the crimes and violence in our past, they keep resurfacing in new ways. And that's why writing like Adichie's, beautiful and moving, can provide an opening for learning and discussion.
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