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Heartbreak, a Revelación, and Collection of Fantastical Stories

Plus an app for curated recommendations.
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CW: anti-Asian violence, racism

How are you feeling? Last week was a lot to process, and I can only imagine the heartbreak and pain our Asian American readers are experiencing from the recent rise in anti-Asian hate crimes. After six Asian women were killed in a targeted mass shooting, the media failed to call out the exceedingly obvious racist motivations and police captain Jay Baker made excuses for the murderer, only "diminishing the trauma," as my friend and our contributor Thao Thai put it in a recent Instagram Story. Jess will be collecting and sharing some of the most impactful posts she saw shared on social media in an upcoming post, but if you're looking for a way to help now, this is an excellent resource, here's how to be an ally for AAPI, read about the Asian American experience (I recommend this article by Kathleen Hou and Thao's piece on micro-aggressions, as well as Cathy Park Hong's Minor Feelings), support these AAPI organizations, and spread awareness of the rise in hate crimes. 

But here's the thing: the trauma and micro-aggressions are one part of "the richness and joyfulness of their communities," as Thao put it to me in a recent email exchange. And we would love to share those stories. Thao is interviewing AAPI women for an upcoming post for cupcakes and cashmere and asking the simple question: "What is one thing you would want people to know about your experience as an AAPI woman in America? Your response can be joyful, angry, funny, full of grief — there are no limits to the story you can tell." If you are an Asian American member of this community and would like to share your story in Thao's piece, please email info@cupcakesandcashmere.com with your name as you'd like it to appear, location, and answer to that question, so I can pass it along to Thao.

In the meantime, take care of yourself and your mental health this week. Do things that bring you energy and joy. Step outside. Here are some things I loved this week:

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Revelación isn't Selena Gomez's first Spanish release (flashback to me scream-singing "Dices, que soy imperfecta" in my college dorm with my roommate), but it's the first time she's released all-new songs in Spanish, and I am here 💃🏻 for 💃🏻 it 💃🏻. The album folds the ASMR tone of Rare into a Latin beat, like in "Baila conmigo," where Selena outwardly calls to the fact that she isn't fluent in Spanish ("No entiendo mucho, pero vente")—but you don't have to understand every word to fall in love, or thoroughly enjoy this EP. 

Speaking of Selena, I recently rediscovered her song "Cut You Off" and am loving it. Slowing adding to my 2021 Favorites playlist here

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The first story in Aoko Matsuda's Where the Wild Ladies Are sets the tone for the contradictions and surprises that exist throughout her collection of short stories, feminist retellings of Japanese folktales. In it, a woman chants affirmations, "I am a beautiful, intelligent woman," to the beeping rhythm of a hair removal laser. She examines her reflection, conflating Western consumerism with happiness ("I would own so many wonderful things, I wouldn't know what to do with them, and then I would truly be happy.") It takes her aunt's ghost barging into her apartment, and some shape-shifting, for her to examine her assumptions. The collection is short, at just under 200 pages, but fantastical and revelatory. 

P.S. Thank you to the reader who suggested I read this!

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I have never seen a friend speak more passionately about an app than when my friend Dylan told me about Bookshlf last week, which is like Instagram for articles. The app provides a simple, more intentional way to share and access curated links to articles, songs, and books, as users build "shelves" around their specific interests, like "Self-Awareness," "Philosophy and Science of the Mind," or feminist theory. You can choose who you follow by their interest—I enjoy following Isis Davis-Marks, a writer for "Smithsonian" and Dr. Lynn Chiu, a "philosopher of biology."

I've only recently started playing around with it, but it's a dream for someone who shares discoveries and recommendations every week (👋), or anyone looking for a more satisfying discovery tool than Instagram. (I love the "queue" feature, where I can save articles to read later.) You can follow me here, though I have yet to share any shelves yet, and am just enjoying others' for now!

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1. I'm honored to be participating in Love as a Kind of Cure's upcoming festival as a panelist on white women's responsibility to be advocates in fighting racism, this Thursday. Hope to see you there! 

2. A reader send me this Ann Patchett piece on getting rid of possessions, because it reminded her of my nostalgia piece a few years back.

3. Has anyone tried Quince's silk separates? Got an ad on Instagram and have had the tab up ever since.

4. The proceeds from this online auction go toward Stop AAPI Hate. It ends tomorrow, so remember to bid today! 

5. I can't say I loved Paul McCartney's latest album (and I say that as someone who truly bows down to his pure song-writing brilliance), but I'm very excited for this to come out...

6. ...Almost as excited as I am for 'In The Heights' to come out! 

7. I walked past these carafes by Gary Bodker at Mantel PDX the other day, and I love them so much, I had to share.

8. Taking so much inspiration from Daveed Diggs and Emmy Raver-Lampman's home (like the hand-painted office, stair runner, and #goals under-the-stair listening room). 

While I have you... we've added two simple ways to submit your feedback for the blog. You can now access our feedback form in our side navigation bar, or at the bottom of every post (see my nifty graphic below for clarification). I read each and every piece of feedback that comes in—and love forwarding your love notes to our contributors. Keep 'em coming!

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