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I Cook Because I Love You

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When my grandmother taught me to make banana pancakes, which we did every Wednesday night through much of my childhood, she would counsel “Hold the bowl” as I stirred, which became, in our letters to each other, code for “I love you.”

Might cooking for another person be considered an act of love?

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Notable Chicago: 4/18–4/24

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Friday 4/18: Angie Chuang, Assistant Professor of Journalism at American University School of Communication, reads from and discusses her book The Four Words for Home, documenting a five-year journey comparing a family’s life in Afghanistan to her own family’s struggles in Taiwan.

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The Tale of Two Community Bookstores

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Brooklyn has two independent Community bookstores—Park Slope’s Community Bookstore and Cobble Hill’s The Community Bookstore. John Scioli, owner of the latter, tells MobyLives that he founded the original with his ex-wife before they split. Scioli goes on to talk about life as a bookstore owner:

These days, The Community Bookstore is open when Scioli decides it will be—usually opening its doors in the afternoon and closing around 11pm.

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The Evils of Irony

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At one time, irony served to reveal hypocrisies, but now it simply acknowledges one’s cultural compliance and familiarity with pop trends. The art of irony has lost its vision and its edge. The rebellious posture of the past has been annexed by the very commercialism it sought to defy.

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Social Media Year, 2080

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In the spirit of Orwell, Saunders, and M.T. Anderson, see here for a glimpse at the future of social media: virtual reality dates, sensory augmentation, robots writing on humans in peer-reviewed journals.  

Sensory augmentations will make possible ever-deeper transports of desire, as we use technology to expand beyond our biological bodies, while machines increasingly anticipate all our needs.

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The Great G.A.N.

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Does the “Great American Novel” actually exist—or is it just the name of a book by Philip Roth? Over at the New Yorker, you can read Adam Gopnik’s review of The Dream of the Great American Novel by Laurence Buell, and you can also listen to Elizabeth Gilbert, Adam Gopnik and Sasha Weiss discuss what the term has evolved to mean.

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