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A Cookbook for Surviving the End of the World

This cookbook of ideas rethinks our eating habits and traditions, challenges our food taboos, and proposes new recipes for humanity’s survival. These more than sixty projects propose new ways to think and make food, offering tools for creative action rather than traditional recipes. They imagine modifying the human body to digest cellulose, turning plastic into food, tasting smog, extracting spices and medicines from sewage, and growing meat in the lab. Read more

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‘The Singularities’ by John Banville

The Irish novelist John Banville writes prose of such luscious elegance that it’s all too easy to view his work as an aesthetic project, an exercise in pleasure giving … But what drives Banville — and his relentless hunt for the ideal adjective and simile and cadence — is a desire to touch something elusive and not quite nameable while providing a parallel or overlapping commentary on that doomed but never pointless effort. Read more

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‘The English Understand Wool’ by Helen DeWitt

Part of a series of New Directions “storybooks” meant to be read in a single sitting, “The English Understand Wool” is a little gift to DeWitt’s (often ardent) readers and an inviting primer for readers new to her. DeWitt is one of our most ingenious writers, a master of the witty fable, and she pulls off her trick here through marvelous specificity of voice and a plot that hums like German machinery. Read more

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