Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman on the Most Honest Way to Tell Their Story
In Conversation with Maris Kreizman on The Maris Review Podcast
On the most honest way to tell their story:
Aminatou Sow: It was really important for us to write this book in one voice because the common experience and the common truth that we are trying to get at is one that we have to share. We have read some incredible fiction about some of the complicated friendships that women can have—that holds a deeply and richly explored place in fiction. In nonfiction there are some incredible books about the experience of being a friend that are very one-sided. Where we saw a gap was that there was nowhere where two people were talking at the same time about being in the same friendship. So many of the ideas that we expand on relate back to the pain points we’ve had in our own friendship, so the most honest way to tell that story is to tell it together.
On the devastating effects of missing one another:
Ann Friedman: Little ways of missing each other that in and of themselves were not devastating have a cumulative effect on us. Some of it was we both recognized we both don’t feel great about a situation in real time and didn’t address it. And sometimes one or the other of us didn’t actually recognize that that felt bad to the other person… We had already been comfortable with each other and stayed really good friends despite living on opposite sides of this continent, the fact is once you start having a communication breakdown, not being together makes it easier to ignore. For us, there was a compounding effect of missing each other in ways that were truly little, and then continuing to miss each other in bigger ways. As we declined to talk about it or didn’t want to acknowledge it, those things became more and more exacerbated. We each had our own narrative about what the other was going through.
Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman are the hosts of Call Your Girlfriend, a podcast for long-distance besties. They wrote their new book, Big Friendship, together.