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Your Estrangement Calls Answered Live
This week, we bring our estrangement series to an end with a live call-in show co-hosted by Anna Sale and WNYC’s Kai Wright, host of the Notes from America podcast. Kai and Anna heard from listeners all around the country about how stark disagreements — particularly around politics and key values — led to estrangement with families, long-time friends and also long-time romantic relationships. Plus, Rebecca Martinez Fitzgerald, a therapist based in Durham, North Carolina, offered advice on how to move forward.
If you’re living with estrangement, check out some of our listener recommendations on what’s helped, and listen to Kai’s show, Notes from America, wherever you get podcasts or on WNYC's YouTube channel.
From Fan to Friend: The Unlikely Friendship Between Pico Iyer and Leonard Cohen
When writer Pico Iyer drove to a California monastery in 1995 to profile famed singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen for a story, he was a longtime fan of his music. That fateful meeting turned into a deep friendship that lasted over 20 years. “He did have that rare gift for making me feel as if there was nothing I couldn't say,” Pico said.
And the men were both drawn to periods of solitude. In his 30s, Pico left his glamorous and exciting dream job in New York to travel to a Japanese monastery, but found the monastic life wasn’t for him. However, that visit to Japan introduced him to his wife and his new home. Anna talks with Pico — whose new book "The Half-Known Life," is a chronicle of his visits to holy sites and sacred places — about the chance encounters that shaped his life, how he’s learned to let go, and how much he still misses his friend, Leonard Cohen.
Why the Creators of "Everything Everywhere All At Once" Treat Their Partnership Like a Marriage
When Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert first met as film students at Emerson College, they didn’t like each other. But after a summer camp job, they embarked on a creative partnership that’s lasted for over a decade, from producing the music video for “Turn Down for What,” to 2016’s Swiss Army Man, and the hit 2022 film Everything Everywhere All At Once.
The movie stars Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn, a woman whose family laundromat is being audited by the IRS, while she’s also tasked with a mission to save the multiverse. The film’s inspired repeat watching, many fan costumes, and has won a plethora of awards. As the directors adjust to the spotlight, they reflect on how their personal relationship has changed over time, from Daniel Kwan’s ADHD diagnosis, to exploring their masculinity, and the intimacy of their partnership. “I always say I watch movies about marriage and I'm like, ‘Ooh, yes. This reminds me of Dan,’” said Daniel Scheinert.
Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp Talk About Their Divorce, Anxiety, and Slowing Down
When we looked back on the movies we loved in 2022, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On was one of our favorites. The film stars Marcel (voiced by actress and comedian Jenny Slate), a small, animated shell who is the subject of a documentary by a newly divorced man named Dean (played by director Dean Fleischer-Camp).
Jenny and Dean first came up with Marcel over a decade ago, back when they were a couple living together in Brooklyn. In the years since, Jenny’s career took off, with roles on shows like Parks and Recreation, Big Mouth, Saturday Night Live, and Bob’s Burgers. They also moved across the country, got married and then divorced, and still made a feature-length film together over the course of seven years. “Being Marcel, I don't have to think about it,” Jenny said. “And you can't be Marcel unless you're with Dean.” They talk about negotiating their creative partnership while ending their marriage, anxiety, and holding space for grief and joy at the same time.
Trevor Noah Talks Depression, Radical Honesty, and Braiding Hair
*This episode originally ran in 2019.
When Trevor Noah started hosting The Daily Show in 2016, he says he told his head writer early on that he might sometimes be late to work. "I'm suffering from depression and sometimes I do not see the purpose of getting out of my bed or living life," he told him. "And he was like, 'Wait, what?'"
Trevor and guest host Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom talk about why radical honesty around mental health can be liberating. Plus, they talk about Trevor's feelings of being an outsider growing up in apartheid South Africa, his evolving relationship with his mother, and how he got so good at doing hair.
Sociologist Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom first joined us on Death, Sex & Money in 2017 to discuss student loan debt during our live call-in. Listen to that, and our two-part series featuring your stories about student loan debt, here.