A veteran science reporter's investigation into the fascinating and distinctive nature of women's friendships
In Girl Talk, New York Times science reporter Jacqueline Mroz takes on the science of female friendship -- a phenomenon that's as culturally powerful as it is individually mysterious. She examines friendship from a range of angles, from the historical to the experiential, with a scientific analysis that reveals new truths about what leads us to connect and build alliances, and then "break up" when a friendship no longer serves us.
Mroz takes a new look at how friendship has evolved throughout history, showing how friends tend to share more genetic commonalities than strangers, and that the more friends we have, the more empathy and pleasure chemicals are present in our brains. Scientists have also reported that friendship directly influences health and longevity; women with solid, supportive friendships experience fewer "fight or flight" impulses and stronger heart function, and women without friendships tend to develop medical challenges on par with those associated with smoking and excessive body weight.
With intimate reporting and insightful analysis, Mroz reveals new awareness about the impact of women's friendships, and how they shape our culture at large.
About the Author
Jacqueline Mroz a veteran journalist and longtime science writer for the New York Times, and the author of Scattered Seeds. She lives in New Jersey.
Claire Messud is the New York Times bestselling author of When the World Was Steady and The Hunters, both finalists for the PEN/Faulkner Award; The Last Life, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and Editor's Choice at the Village Voice; The Woman Upstairs and The Burning Girl. She has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Radcliffe Fellowship, and is the current recipient of the Straus Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
"Covering the history, origins, current traditions, international and cultural differences, and numerous mental and overall health benefits of female friendships, this includes something useful for nearly every reader. The section dedicated to the significant effects of social media on contemporary friendships makes the work especially timely." —Booklist
"This quick and intriguing read will provide women with plenty of insight into their actions."
"Mroz employs reportage from scientific studies and interviews with anthropologists, psychologists and neuroscientists, as well as anecdotes from sources and her own personal stories... A compelling and necessary look at some of the most vital interactions in a woman's life."