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Some of My Best Friends

And Other White Lies I've Been Told


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About The Book

A fearless, “funny, poignant, and super-smart” (Ms. magazine) essay collection about race, justice, and the limits of good intentions.

In this “inspiring, determined work of personal narrative and cultural criticism” (Saeed Jones, author of How We Fight for Our Lives), essayist and award-winning voice actor Tajja Isen explores the absurdity of living in a world that has grown fluent in the language of social justice but doesn’t always follow through.

These nine daring essays explore the sometimes troubling and often awkward nature of that discord. Some of My Best Friends takes on subjects including the cartoon industry’s pivot away from colorblind casting, the pursuit of diverse representation in the literary world, the law’s refusal to see inequality, and the cozy fictions of nationalism. Throughout, Isen “shows a bracing willingness to tackle sensitive issues that others often sweep under a rug” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).

In the spirit of Zadie Smith, Cathy Park Hong, and Jia Tolentino, Isen interlaces cultural criticism with her lived experience to explore the gaps between what we say and what we do, what we do and what we value, what we value and what we demand.

About The Author

Photograph by Karen Isen

Tajja Isen’s first book, Some of My Best Friends, was named a best book of the year by outlets such Electric LiteratureThe Globe and Mali (Toronto), and more. The former editor-in-chief of Catapult Magazine, she has also edited for The Walrus and Electric Literature, and she coedited the essay anthology The World as We Knew It: Dispatches from a Changing Climate. Her work has appeared in The AtlanticTimeBuzzFeed News, and numerous other publications. Also a voice actor, Isen can be heard on such animated shows as Atomic BettyThe Berenstain BearsSuper Why!Go Dog GoJane and the Dragon, and many others. Learn more at 

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atria/One Signal Publishers (February 27, 2024)
  • Length: 240 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982178437

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