A Hope for Tenderness

Image shows a black kitten standing with her front legs on the rocks on top of one of two black planters containing dwarf pomegranate trees. In the foreground is a rosemary plant. All are on a wooden chest.

I don’t keep a journal, but I occasionally write down my dreams and some quick reflections. Looking back through them this week, I was sad–-if not surprised—to notice how often I wrote about my desire to spend less time on social media and my frustration with myself for not having better self-control. I know the sites and apps are made to be addictive. Still, I would like to spend less of my time doomscrolling and more of it writing and connecting in meaningful ways in the year to come. This isn’t unique to me, I know, but I’m putting it out there in the hope that it will spur me to spend my time differently.

My greatest and related hope for 2022 is to cultivate and seek out tenderness. My book was written in that same spirit.

I’ve been excited to see Ancestor Trouble featured on a couple more 2022-anticipated-books lists. Oprah Daily included the book among its fifty selections–-at number five! Here’s what the editors said: “The best way to know and understand yourself is through the lens of the past—at least that’s literary blogger and journalist Newton’s theory. ‘If our lives have been circumscribed because of the way we’ve viewed our family,’ she writes, ‘confronting our ancestors as complicated human beings rather than distant archetypes can suggest different ways of being ourselves.’ Her interest in genealogy and its history for this powerful  debut  emerged out of a 2014 Harper’s magazine story.”

And according to the editors at Goodreads, the book is also among those most anticipated by the site’s readers.


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