What happens when a new technology is so disruptive that secrets long buried are unearthed, creating havoc and, in some cases, wonder?

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Back in the 80’s, before we had internet or mobile phones, I created a TV series on ABC called HeartBeat, about a group of women ob-gyns.

After hanging around their office, I wrote an episode about an orthodox Jewish couple having fertility problems. The doctor asks if they would consider using a sperm donor. The couple recoil, especially the husband. But the doctor says she’ll mix sperm from the donor with the husband’s sperm, so “only God will know who the father is.”

The husband repeats, “Only God will know.” Then he nods.

A great number of children were born…

Tips from a literary journalist

Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash

I’ve been a reporter since the ’60s, when “Literary journalism” was being created by writers such as Tom Wolfe, Hunter Thompson, and Joan Didion, with whom I had long talks about writing. I’ve published more than a hundred magazine articles, written dozens of TV shows and nine books, including the New York Times best-seller Loose Change and the Kindle Single, Joan: 40 years of Life, Love and Friendship with Joan Didion. What would you most like to hear about? I look forward to connecting.

Writing About Sex. Most people write too little or too much. You want the reader to…

You hate the company but can’t stop ordering

Photo by Grzegorz Walczak on Unsplash

I love Amazon. But it’s becoming a guilty love, an addiction.

It began as a crush in 1995 when Amazon started selling books online. Then came the Kindle in 2007, and I found that I enjoyed reading books on it, although some of my peers refused to do so. I appreciated that you could order a free sample, read the beginning and then decide if you wanted to buy it. Ninety per cent of the time I did not.

Before Kindle, what I’d done was stand in the bookstore, turning pages, trying to see what books I wanted to read…

What a woman in her seventies has learned from dating in the time of Covid

Photo: Thomas Tolstrup/Getty Images

In March, when the stay-at-home order came down with a thud, I found myself in a relationship that quickly became more intense and consuming than any I’d had for a decade. In my seventies, I’d recently met a man on a dating site who seemed “possible,” if not a perfect match. In other times, we might have had a few dates and found a reason to drift away. But this was dating in the time of Covid. It was as if we were the only two people on an island. …

Beyond Small Talk

It helps to think of them as a younger person

Illustration: George(s)

This story is part of How to Talk to Anyone, Forge’s guide to moving past the chitchat and truly connecting.

When asked to write this piece, I thought it was about talking to people older than I am: people in their eighties or nineties. Then the realization landed with a thud: the old person — that’s me.

But I don’t feel old. In my seventies, I feel like I’m 55. When I was 40, I felt like I was 28. You always feel younger inside than your chronological age, but both ages are moving upward, in tandem. The “I” —…

Every so often, I come across a human story that rivets me. Here’s one.

Nayla Tawa, a lanky brunette with large blue eyes, was an extreme snowboarder.

She flew to Kyrgyzstan to go boarding in uncharted mountains, and to make a film about villagers who were trying to create a winter sports center to bring much-needed income to their town. On the first day, though, she had a car accident that broke her back in three places and stopped the film in its tracks. Ultimately, it set the stage for a different film.

Nayla was 28, studying geography and film…

Sara Davidson

Sara Davidson is the N.Y. Times best-selling author of Loose Change, The December Project, and JOAN: 40 years of life, loss, and friendship with Joan Didion.

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