The New Book ‘Big Friendship’ Sets An Example For Deep, Intimate Relationships Between Friends

“If we had had models for repairing our relationship, perhaps it would not have been so hard,” says one of the book’s coauthors, Aminatou Sow.

By Kristen CabreraJuly 31, 2020 2:28 pm,

A new book details the ups and downs of a decade-long friendship between two women. Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman are coauthors of the New York Times bestseller, “Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close.” Sow and Friedman also work together as hosts of the podcast “Call Your Girl Friend.”

“Like all relationships that are very intimate and very deep, we had the rough patches that we had to go through,” Sow told the Texas Standard’s Joy Díaz.

Sow and Friedman write about methods they’ve used to try to repair their friendship during rough patches. They attended a retreat, and eventually ended up in therapy. 

“We really came to the understanding that we needed some outside guidance to help spark a different kind of conversation between the two of us,” Friedman said. 

Sow explains, “we currently explore every possible way that you can repair a bond with someone that you love.”

Sow and Friedman felt it was important to tell their story because a lot of people face the same issues in their own friendships, but never acknowledge them. 

“If we had had models for repairing our relationship, perhaps it would not have been so hard,” Sow said. “If we talked about [these issues] a little more, I think that people would feel less shame and more support in their friendships.”

For the two authors, one of the most important lessons from therapy has been the ability to recognize each other’s differences. 

“For starters, I am a white woman, born in Iowa in the United States. Aminatou is a Black woman, you know, mostly raised in Nigeria,” Friedman said. “So really, we have very different inputs in our background.”

Sow says she is still figuring out how to navigate long distance friendships during the pandemic. She believes the best way to serve these friendships is to be open about one’s own anxieties right now.

Web story by Sarah Gabrielli.

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