What's Behind the Door?
The Jo and Amy March of newsletters is rattling off a baker’s dozen-plus reads about (sanctioned) love triangles, randy sexagenarians, method momming, and more!
What would make the perfect women’s magazine? Juicy yarns, hot goss, big ideas, deeply personal examinations of women’s lives—and none of the advertiser obligations. Welcome to the Spread, where every week two editors read, listen, and watch it all, and deliver only the best to your inbox.
Last Tuesday, your Spreaditors riffed on the Portal—the idea that middle age can be a glorious, transformative time for women’s creativity—name-checkingPassages1, writing that Sheehy “did research across ethnicities, classes, countries, centuries, and synthesized it all into this fabulous reframing of what was then an almost uncharted blob of (entire middle of the human lifespan).” Flawless, commented that we should try to get our mitts on 1993’s The Middle Passage: From Misery to Meaning in Midlife by Jungian psychologist James Hollis. Our shopping cart is full, and our admiration for the gorgeous brains of Spreadlandia swells once again. As a small token of our gratitude: Recs! Recs! And more recs!
Rachel & Maggie
P.S. Y’all watching’s trial?
The New York Mag gods have giveneth: Alison P. Davis delivers the definitive age-of-polyamory story Maggie was pining for—and the mag continues the feline-coverstar trend, too. Read “A Practical Guide to Modern Polyamory” here.
Let’s keep getting it on. Cosmopolitan went all out for its new and quite thorough “Sex After 60” digital issue, featuring a handful of legitimately moving personal essays, some crunchy data, and a cover interview with Taylor McBride—sorry, we mean “Lisa Rinna”—by Spread mentor. Read it here.
Watch out, H-Biebs. In a real Koonsian maneuver that makes us fear we’re being punk’d, Marina Abramović has launched a skincare line.
Last week we pondered about New York Times Opinion’s out-of-nowhere swipe at Taylor Swift’s sexuality. Then we realized the Daily Beast had done a prescient write-around on Swift’s formidable, flame-haired publicist, Tree Paine—the second most powerful woman in the world. Read it here.
Maternal Rage: the mom-on-mom battle continues. In an extremely personal Electric Lit essay about postpartum fury, Jill Kolongowski pushes back on Merve Emre’s review of Minna Dubin’s book Mom Rage (a review that, you’ll recall, we pretty much cosigned at the time!). Read it here.
Some New Yorker subscribers are not gonna know what hit ’em when they stumble upon Spreadfave Carrie Battan’s profile of comedian Jacqueline Novak. We’ll let the dek speak for itself: “‘Get on Your Knees,’ Novak’s new Netflix special, is a ninety-minute reflection on the blow job.” Read it here.
Bless his heart. How a grad-student sleuth discovered that a nineteenth-century pulp-fiction author named Gould may have actually been our spiritual great-great-grandmother, Louisa May Alcott. Read it here.
Maybe you’ve heard that Yes Chef j
ust won a bunch of major acting awards recently posed in his skivvies?3 Days after we read Jennifer Wilson’s spot-on examination of Jeremy Allen White’s particular appeal (within the long tradition of Calvin Klein clickbait) several of her bawdier zingers still have us chuckling. Read it here.
Natalie Portman continues her late-stage siege to win over your Spreaditors (clearly her current raison d'être) by explaining to the Wall Street Journal why method acting isn’t really a thing for women. “I’ve gotten very into roles, but I think it’s honestly a luxury that women can’t afford,” Portman said. “I don’t think that children or partners would be very understanding of, you know, me making everyone call me ‘Jackie Kennedy’ all the time.” Read it here.
From the department of Better Late Than Never: The Drift’s Hannah Gold considers our fellow Substacker (lol)’s divisive, destabilizing newsletter. Read it here.
We finally read Lizzy Goodman’s profile of boygenius—Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker, and Lucy Dacus’s supergroup—an experience that made us feel at once young and so very old. Read it in the New York Times Magazine here.
New here? Welcome, welcome! Please be sure to sign up, spread the word, and if you really like us, maybe consider becoming a paid subscriber. And if you’re still feeling hungry, fuel up in our archive here.
Not to be confused with the French film Passages—one of Rachel’s top five favorite movies of 2023—in which a narcissistic filmmaker with a seductive lisp steps out on his husband with…a woman. Rent it here.
Did one of your dedicated Spreaditors brave New York’s first “snowstorm” in two years to document JAW’s spread for you? She did.