A personal note, and a reading list.
I MEAN: "The media and publishing business being a mess isn’t one that individual subscriptions will solve, and the model is ripe for burning writers out and causing personal anxiety about self-worth." Feel this so hard!
I love this newsletter. I can only pay for a few Substack subscriptions and this is one of them. Your rate is very reasonable and your work and writing much better than most. You need a holiday and I look forward to a few weeks without reading you for that reason!!
I know preordering books is good for the author, but I also love a gift from my past self! Just put my preorder in with my local bookstore. Really looking forward to it.
I cannot eloquently express my feelings and thoughts about an email telling you to choke on a chicken bone, so I'll just say that I'm glad you are taking some time in August. Also: YAY about your book; already pre-ordered, and like Carrie, I love to surprise myself this way. Also also: $30 a year for a subscription is beyond reasonable and so is taking a few weeks off, here and there, during the year.
My current corporate gig is for a stupendously humane tech company (I know!? Still run by the original founders, who are lovely) and our all-hands a week or so ago included a sincere exhortation for everyone to TAKE THEIR TIME OFF. Recharge! Take a break! Come back with energy and ideas again and as full human beings.
So please dear Alicia, treat yourself as you would your most beloved employee, and take some real time off, relax and recharge ... (and of course I preordered your book! Can't wait to read it).
I’ve been holding off the pre-order because I had hoped to attend a reading and purchase direct from an indie bookstore. Your Boston (Somerville) stop on the tour, the closest to my Maine world even at a 3.5 hour drive, is sold out--cheers to you, boo to me! Any plans for readings in perhaps, Phoenix, later this fall?
Your next title: No Chicken Bones Allowed.
I’m delighted that your book will be translated to Brazilian Portuguese 👏🏽
Not that I’ll wait to read it in Portuguese, as I can’t wait to read it. But glad that more people (who don’t speak English) will have access to your book! ❤️
Ahh, yes, as others have shared, this is SO resonant! I started my newsletter as an outlet for things I couldn't find another home for, or wanted to shared unedited. But it has started to feel like almost as much pressure as all the other deadlines. This particularly landed; I was pursuing writing a book until I realized that was just, for me, perpetuating a lot of the problems I was looking to get away from:
"But cost of living is up; there are more newsletters than ever for everyone to support; I don’t actively stoke engagement because it would be a part-time job to stay on top of; and I’m also asking folks to preorder a book. The media and publishing business being a mess isn’t one that individual subscriptions will solve, and the model is ripe for burning writers out and causing personal anxiety about self-worth. Yet it is understandable how many of us have thrown our hat in this ring, when what traditional media offers is often payment in maybe four to six months after a pitch is accepted. We’re just lucky there are still any places to pitch at all."
Thank you for all you do, and will be getting the book once some more of said payments that are very late come through :)
Alicia, perhaps you've mentioned this book elsewhere but, in talking about women, recipes, and resistance, the very first title that comes to mind is In Memory's Kitchen: A Legacy from the Women of Terezin, the haunting compilation put together by women imprisoned in the Terezin concentration camp and edited with great sensitivity by the (sadly) late Cara De Silva.
The reading list I needed! Thank you! And for the newsletter, which, I’m sure you know, is like a sustaining force of art, humor, theory, and good ideas in my life. Also, fucking yayyy for breaks 😂😭♥️