All posts tagged: expiration date

The Spiky, Unsentimental Visions of Diana Athill

The Spiky, Unsentimental Visions of Diana Athill

[ad_1] One of American fiction’s core preoccupations, these days, seems to be the question of what causes unhappiness. Many of our major writers are earnest anatomists of discontent and its social, psychological, and existential causes. This kind of fiction can be very powerful. Reading about loneliness when you’re lonely can provide both diagnosis and solace; encountering a character trapped by student debt or patriarchal expectation can inspire a sense of camaraderie in a reader facing similar frustrations. But more often than not, contemporary novelists handle their subject matter with immersive seriousness and sincerity—and sincerity, after a while, gets tiring. Misery may love company, but sometimes a miserable person wants cheering up too. If you’re looking to make a little light of sadness, as I have been, the work of Diana Athill might be the perfect place to turn. The legendary writer and editor is one of a loose cadre of 20th-century English and Irish women authors gaining resurgent attention for their brilliantly drawn characters and sharply witty prose; others in this camp include Penelope Fitzgerald, …

American Families Have a Massive Food-Waste Problem

American Families Have a Massive Food-Waste Problem

[ad_1] If you have children, you probably already understand them to be very adorable food-waste machines. If you do not have children, I have five, so let me paint you a picture. On a recent Tuesday night, the post-dinner wreckage in my house was devastating. Peas were welded to the floor; my 5-year-old had decided that he was allergic to chicken and left a pile of it untouched on his plate. After working all day, making the meal in the first place, and then spending dinnertime convincing five irrational, tiny people to try their vegetables, I didn’t even have the energy to convince them to take their plates into the kitchen, let alone box up their leftovers for tomorrow. So I did exactly what I’m not supposed to do, according to the planet’s future: I threw it all out, washed the dishes, and flopped into bed, exhausted. Tens of millions of tons of food that leaves farms in the United States is wasted. Much of that waste happens at the industrial level, during harvesting, handling, …