A woman looks at the photo titled "Holding the Weasel" by Sally Mann during a press preview in 2008 at Sotheby's.Timothy A. Clary / Getty Images

The word “family” evokes warmth, love, and intimacy. It is the closest community many of us will have. But a family’s tight embrace can easily become constricting, a source of tension and discord. As The Atlantic’s new Family section nears its first month since launch, we wanted to take a look at the challenging aspects of family life. Annika Neklason reflects on a wife and mother’s critique of the family, published in The Atlantic in 1946, and Karen Yuan talks to Atlantic contributing editor Alex Wagner, whose new book confronts difficult moments in her family’s past. To close us out, I look into a vivid recent debate: When a photographer and mother invites the world to view her family’s most private moments, how much is she at liberty to share?

To access this story, become a member

Sign up for our brand-new membership program, The Masthead, and you’ll not only receive exclusive content you can’t find anywhere else—you’ll also help fund a sustainable future for journalism.

Find Out More

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.