From the host of the popular WNYC podcast Death, Sex, & Money, Let’s Talk About Hard Things is “like a good conversation with a friend” (The New Yorker) where “no topic is off-limits when it comes to creating meaningful connection” (Lori Gottlieb, author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone).
Anna Sale wants you to have that conversation. You know the one. The one that you’ve been avoiding or putting off, maybe for years. The one that you’ve thought “they’ll never understand” or “do I really want to bring that up?” or “it’s not going to go well, so why even try?”
Sale is the founder and host of WNYC’s popular, award-winning podcast Death, Sex, & Money or as the New York Times dubbed her “a therapist at happy hour.” She and her guests have direct and thought-provoking conversations, discussing topics that most of us are too squeamish, polite, or nervous to bring up. But Sale argues that we all experience these hard things, and by not talking to one another, we cut ourselves off, leading us to feel isolated and disconnected from people who can help us most.
In Let’s Talk About Hard Things, Sale uses the best of what she’s learned from her podcast to reveal that when we dare to talk about hard things, we learn about ourselves, others, and the world that we make together. Diving into five of the most fraught conversation topics—death, sex, money, family, and identity—she moves between memoir, fascinating snapshots of a variety of Americans opening up about their lives, and expert opinions to show why having tough conversations is important and how to do them in a thoughtful and generous way. She uncovers that listening may be the most important part of a tough conversation, that the end goal should be understanding without the pressure of reconciliation, and that there are some things that words can’t fix (and why that’s actually okay).
Sale, host of the podcast Death, Sex & Money, dives deep into "hard conversations" in her empathetic debut. Sale writes that talking openly about death, sex, money, family, and identity is crucial to understanding "how our experiences fit into broader patterns that we can learn from and take solace in," and she walks readers through the importance of discussing each topic. In "Death," she writes that acknowledging its inevitability can help the grieving and the dying "find companions in that pain." "Sex" covers an uncomfortable postpartum experience Sale had at an OB-GYN office and offers that "sex is one of the most potent ways we communicate with one another." In "Money," she encourages readers to discuss both the emotional and practical aspects of wealth, even when it seems more polite to stay quiet. In addition to her own experiences, Sale offers no shortage of outside perspectives through interviews with former podcast guests, friends, and psychologists (Brad Kontz, for example, breaks down personality types based on one's relationship with money). Fans of Sale's podcast will find a familiar guide in her reflective and introspective voice, and those encountering her for the first time will find this a comfort in hard times.