On tiger moms, holiday letters and authenticity in the age of social media

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Gretchen Anthony, author of 'Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners'
MPR News Kerri Miller spoke with author Gretchen Anthony on her novel "Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners."
Author photo courtesy of M. Brian Hartz, cover art courtesy of Harper Collins

Is the holiday letter the original social media — a place where people curate the shiniest bits of their lives for others to consume? That's one of the many theories Kerri Miller explores with her guest, Minneapolis author Gretchen Anthony, as they discuss her debut novel, "Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners."

The book centers around the polished, over-the-top holiday letters written by matriarch Victoria — and what happens when her grip on her family starts to loosen. Kerri and Gretchen use that as a launching pad to talk about whether social media has replaced the holiday letter tradition, how so-called tiger moms rule their families, and the ways Gretchen's own parenting and upbringing informed her writing.