Elizabeth Weil covers California and the climate for ProPublica. She has written for The New York Times Magazine, California Sunday, and more.

“As a journalist you’re endlessly asking people to tell you really personal, really vulnerable stuff about their lives. And I feel like you have to be willing to be in that conversation too—or really think about why you’re not willing.”

Thanks to Mailchimp for sponsoring this week's episode.

A Fierce Attachment

My mother is an urban peasant and I am my mother’s daughter. The city is our natural element. We each have daily adventures with bus drivers, bag ladies, ticket takers, and street crazies. Walking brings out the best in us.

Jiayang Fan is a staff writer for The New Yorker. Her latest article is a "How My Mother and I Became Chinese Propaganda."

"I think considering the unusual shape of our lives—the lives of my mother and I—from bare subsistence to one of the richest enclaves in America … it made me think about what the value of existence is. ... It made me wonder, What should a person be? And how should a person be? And being a writer has been a lifelong quest to answer those questions."

Thanks to Mailchimp for sponsoring this week's episode.