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Omnivore

Ways something can be

Eze Paez (Pompeu Fabra): Six Ways Something Can Be Valuable. From the Boston Globe’s Ideas section, Britt Peterson on English, loanword champion of the world: It’s the number-one lender of words to other languages — but not everyone wants to borrow them; and on why we love the language police: An eccentric British grammar scold named N.M. Gwynne wants to take English back to the good old days, and readers are eating it up. Common mythconceptions: David McCandless on the world's most contagious


Paper Trail

The passwords we use say a great deal about us and often have elaborate histories. At the New York Times, a story about these “tchotchkes of our inner lives” that commemorate what is important to us—“a motivational mantra, a swipe at the boss, a hidden shrine to a lost love, an inside joke with ourselves,

Syllabi

Andre Dubus's best characters

Bibi DeitzAndre Dubus's literary superpower is to hit upon that one thing about a character that makes him him, or her her. And in so doing, with subtle, clever details—breadcrumbs on the trail to the nucleus

Daily Review

Repast Imperfect

In tales of domestic life, which is what Laurie Colwin's are (in the best sense of that tradition), the day-to-day particulars provide all the depth. Colwin's writing provides a gentle entrance into the inevitable understanding that no matter how delicious the food or heavy the silver, there's usually something nasty, or at least hard to see, lurking under the table.

Interviews

Dodie Bellamy

Dodie Bellamy's most recent book, The TV Sutras, is a personal meditation on religious experience, as well as what it means to be a teacher and to be taught.

Excerpt

A Store of Half-Knowledge

Charles D'Ambrosio

The essay, at its best, is a genre shaped by the character of its author. Charles D’Ambrosio describes it as “a forum for self-doubt.” The author’s irresolution runs throughout Loitering, his new collection. “We are more intimately bound to one another by our kindred doubts than our brave conclusions,” he notes. By communicating uncertainty, D’Ambrosio eases its isolation.

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