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Listening to Taylor Swift in prison
ABC 175: On the power of music to make the personal universal
This week’s article hooks you from its opening line: “The first time I heard about Taylor Swift, I was in a Los Angeles County jail, waiting to be sent to prison for murder.” But it’s the beautiful prose that will keep you reading.
Joe Garcia’s viral New Yorker essay about listening to Taylor Swift while serving a life sentence doesn’t have any of the trappings of a true crime story. There are no salacious details about the day of the murder, questions about whether he did or didn’t commit it, or rants about the injustice of our justice system.
Rather, it’s the story of how a 53-year-old man who has been behind bars for over two decades found a newfound connection with the outside world through the lyrics of a 33-year-old pop singer.
The essay has the same quality as much of Swift’s music: the intimacy of the writing taps into the universal. You don’t have to be a Swiftie to be moved by the message.
Here’s the piece: Listening to Taylor Swift in prison
The Good Enough Job passed 15,000 US sales last week. Thank you for helping exceed my wildest expectations of where we’d be three months after launch. 🙏
Also, thanks to the more than 60 folks who shared their thoughts on uncertainty and doubt. I’m so excited to dive into this next project!