View profile

#301: Summerland

The Highlighter
Happy Thursday, loyal readers, and thank you for opening up today’s issue of the newsletter. Before diving in, let me start by saying, “Wow, Nikole Hannah-Jones, wow.” Longtime subscribers know I’m a huge fan, so I was extremely happy this week when I found out she had declined a job offer from the University of North Carolina to accept a professorship at Howard University. Even more impressive was her statement explaining her decision. Someday, maybe Ms. Hannah-Jones will stop by and say hello to our reading community. Who knows: Maybe she’ll become a subscriber?
Aspirations aside, this week, I’m trying something new: spotlighting an outstanding author and dedicating an entire issue to their work. That author is Barrett Swanson. Many of you — I see you, Article Clubbers! — already know Mr. Swanson. But it’s altogether possible you’ve never heard of him. He’s remained mostly under the radar at The Highlighter, even though “Lost in Summerland,” this week’s lead piece, was one of my favorite articles last year. I was reading his book of essays this week (also outstanding), and it dawned on me: “This guy has been in The Highlighter a lot!” And so I did a search, and sure enough, Mr. Swanson’s work has appeared many times.
The reason? The guy knows how to write. No matter the topic (e.g., TikTok influencers, scary water parks, masculinity retreats), Mr. Swanson is funny, sensitive, and deep. He knows about longing, depression, postmodern neoliberalism, conspiracy theories, and the absurdities of life. You’ll want to keep a dictionary nearby (in a good way). Most of all, I like how Mr. Swanson has empathy for his subjects, never judging them, choosing instead to interrogate his own choices. And he loves his brother and isn’t afraid to cry.
I hope you’ll read one or all of Mr. Swanson’s pieces this week, and I’d love to know what you think. All you need to do is hit reply. Please enjoy.
+ This month at Article Club, join us for a discussion of “Private Schools Are Indefensible.” Writer and former teacher Caitlin Flanagan is both snarky and serious as she slams elite independent schools. I especially welcome you if you haven’t tried Article Club before. Here’s more information, and here’s where you can sign up.

Lost In Summerland
Men At Work
Maho, spotted off the beach at the Virgin Islands National Park, likes eating sea grass and keeping company with his fish friends, who like to hang out on his back. This is the first sea turtle to appear in The Highlighter, thanks to loyal reader Brian. hltr.co/pets
Maho, spotted off the beach at the Virgin Islands National Park, likes eating sea grass and keeping company with his fish friends, who like to hang out on his back. This is the first sea turtle to appear in The Highlighter, thanks to loyal reader Brian. hltr.co/pets
The Anxiety Of Influencers
For Whom Is the Water Park Fun?
+ Audio: In addition to his writing, you might enjoy this recent interview of Mr. Swanson on the Longform Podcast.
Thank you for reading this week’s issue of The Highlighter. Did you enjoy it? Let me know by clicking on “Yes” or ”No” below. I like hearing from you.
Also, to our new subscribers Nan, Jared, and Lisa, I hope you find the newsletter a solid addition to your email inbox. To our long-time subscribers (like TerrieLisaMichael!), you’re pretty great, too.
If you like The Highlighter, please help it grow. I appreciate your support. Here are a few ways you can help:
On the other hand, if you no longer want to receive this newsletter, please unsubscribe. See you next Thursday at 9:10 am PT!
Don’t miss out on the other issues by Mark Isero
Did you enjoy this issue? Yes No
Mark Isero
Mark Isero @iserotope

The best of the week on race, education, and culture

You can manage your subscription here.
If you don't want these updates anymore, please unsubscribe here.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Created with Revue by Twitter.