VIRTUAL AUTHOR EVENT // Edward Brodkin, M.D. & Ashley Pallathra, M.A. - Missing Each Other

Due to the COVID-19 this will now be a virtual event held on Zoom.

Join Napa Bookmine on Thursday, February 11th at 6:00PM PST for a virtual author hour with authors Edward Brodkin, M.D. and Ashley Pallathra, M.A. to discuss their forthcoming book Missing Each Other: How to Cultivate Meaningful Connections. Release Date: January 26, 2021.

This is a VIRTUAL event and will take place on Zoom. You must RSVP to attend. Email to RSVP.

This is a free event. If you are able, a donation of $5 is suggested to help us cover costs. To donate click here.

To help us offset costs, you can also pre-order Missing Each Other below.


In our fast-paced, tech-obsessed lives, rarely do we pay genuine, close attention to one another. Have you ever been speaking with someone and realized that you missed everything they just said to you because you were lost in your own thoughts and were unable to maintain focus on the conversation? With all that’s going on in the world, and the never-ending demands of our daily lives, most of us are too stressed and preoccupied with our own thoughts and worries to be able to really listen to each other for long. Often, we seem to somehow “miss” each other, misunderstand each other, or talk past each other—leaving many of us wishing for someone who could really listen, understand, and genuinely connect with us.

These growing difficulties with connecting have led to a dramatic rise in loneliness and alienation in American society over the past several decades. More and more Americans report having no one who they feel they can really confide in and count on.  Our connections have been further frayed in 2020 by COVID-19 and the necessity for “social distancing,” which has additionally atomized us. Global crises like COVID-19, racial injustice, police brutality, and climate change have driven us apart, resulting in greater disconnection, which in turn impairs our ability to work together to address these pressing issues. Our abilities to meaningfully connect and “make contact” with each other are now severely challenged, negatively impacting our personal lives as well as our society as a whole.   

In their book Missing Each Other: How to Cultivate Meaningful Connections, researchers and clinicians Edward Brodkin and Ashley Pallathra argue that we must find the ability to be in tune with each other again, and they show us how. Based on years of research that they conducted together in a National Institute of Mental Health-funded clinical study, the authors identify the essence of human connection in a process they call “attunement”.  To explain this process, they take us on a wide-ranging and surprising journey through fields as diverse as social neuroscience and autism research, music performance, pro basketball, and tai chi. They use these engaging stories to introduce the four principal components of attunement: Relaxed Awareness, Listening, Understanding, and Mutual Responsiveness—not only explaining the science, research, and biology underlying these pillars of human connection, but also providing readers with exercises through which they can improve their own skills and abilities in each.  They also offer an incisive critique of recent developments in artificial intelligence and robotics that are starting to encroach on human-to-human attunement.

We all share a fundamental need for human connection—something that seems increasingly neglected in our present culture, and increasingly under assault by our global crises and by the advent of certain new technologies. Missing Each Other reminds us that human‑to‑human connection has a unique power and value, and it is one we should cherish and reclaim, rather than relinquish.



Edward S. (“Ted”) Brodkin, M.D. is Associate Professor of Psychiatry with tenure at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the Founder and Director of the Adult Autism Spectrum Program at Penn Medicine. He has been honored by Philadelphia Magazine as a Top Doctor in the Philadelphia region for 14 years, and has been honored as one of America’s Top Doctors by Castle Connolly Medical for the past 13 years. He received his A.B. Magna Cum Laude from Harvard College and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He did his residency in psychiatry and a fellowship in neuroscience research at the Yale University School of Medicine, as well as a fellowship in genetics research at Princeton University. His research lab and clinical program at the University of Pennsylvania focus on social neuroscience and the autism spectrum in adults.


Ashley A. Pallathra, M.A. is a clinical researcher and therapist. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree with Distinction in Neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania, she received a Master’s degree in Psychology and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. She is the author of numerous published research articles and a book chapter in the fields of autism research, social neuroscience, and social-emotional functioning in youth. Her current research and clinical work center around strengthening social competence and building resilience in children and adolescents from diverse community settings.






Event address: 
This is a virtual event.
Missing Each Other: How to Cultivate Meaningful Connections Cover Image
ISBN: 9781541774018
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: PublicAffairs - January 26th, 2021

A Next Big Idea Club Winter 2021 Must Read

The ability to connect with another person's physical and emotional state is one of the most elusive interpersonal skills to develop, but this book shows you just how approachable it can be. In our fast-paced, tech-obsessed lives, rarely do we pay genuine, close attention to one another.