Letters From Teenagers

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For most of us, our teenage years were marked by feelings of loneliness and insecurity. Even for those of us whose experiences of high school weren’t especially painful, our inner lives were filled with uncertainty.

In this episode, the Sugars take questions exclusively from teenagers. They answer two letters that get at the universal themes of adolescence — the sense of being alone, the fear of being left out, the desire to please others — and one letter from a teenager for whom outside forces have marked her teenage experience as different from her peers.

The Sugars are joined by Tavi Gevinson, the 19-year-old founder and editor of Rookie, a digital magazine for teenage girls.

Show notes

[0:22] “I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl,” Nina Simone, 1967.

[5:44] “Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days,” Flannery O’Connor, “Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose,” 1957.

[8:11] “The Catcher In The Rye,” J.D. Salinger, 1951.

[15:08] Tavi Gevinson, author page, Rookie.

[15:11] Rookie, digital magazine for teenage girls.

[20:04] “Most people actually don’t have a Rayanne Graff friendship.” Rookie article about the character from My So-Called Life.

[24:25] Ms. Magazine, website.

[26:18] “Why do people have to be this lonely? What’s the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the earth put here just to nourish human loneliness?” Haruki Murakami, “Sputnik Sweetheart,” 1999.

[28:41] “Lonely Lonely,” Feist, “Let It Die,” 2005.

[40:02] “Ego,” Zola Jesus, “Taiga,” 2015.

[52:57] “Torch,” Cheryl Strayed, 2002.

[52:58] “Wild,” Cheryl Strayed, 2012.

[58:13] “Anthems For A Seventeen-Year-Old Girl,” Broken Social Scene, “You Forgot It In People,” 2003.

Full episodes of Dear Sugar Radio are released weekly.

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