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Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.
This book is about a strange object-strange in part because it is something that we all have been, and that many of us eat. Nicole Walker's Egg relishes in sharp juxtapositions of seemingly fanciful or repellent topics, so that reproductive science and gustatory habits are considered alongside one another, and personal narrative and broad swaths of natural history jostle, like yolk and albumen. Mapping curious eggs across times, scales, and spaces, Egg draws together surprising perspectives on this common object-egg as food, as art object, as metaphor and feminist symbol, as cultural icon.
Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
Walker teaches creative writing at a Northern Arizona University, and I imagine she is very good at it. Her interest in other people and their lives holds the book together. Her specific remit, the egg, provides her with a good deal of scope and she enthusiastically takes her readers along for the ride ... Much within the lovely covers is delightful. * FoodAnthropology * This is the eggiest book ever, and the egg is everything. Egg is forthright, joyful, mournful and charming, as personal and expansive as the good great egg. * Lucy Corin, Program Director of Creative Writing and Professor of English, University of California, Davis, USA, and author of One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses (2013) * Egg is Walker's third book of nonfiction, and it is just one book from Bloomsbury's Object Lessons Series... Like its cohorts, Egg offers an unusual lens for observing everyday objects. In this book of thirty short essays, Walker combines equal parts personal narrative, natural history, and cookbook-adding a pinch of cultural history and a dash of mythology-to whip up something that defies genre and is especially palpable in today's divisive political climate wherein both reproductive rights and the environment are under attack ... Walker surveys the depths of virginity and motherhood, global warming and habitat destruction, cooking and art. And she does so with impeccable precision. * Slashnburn * "[A] deeply engrossing and very accessible work of philosophy, a quasi-religious contemplation of someone else's daily striving possessed of both poetic and factual merit. ... Walker's Egg is the product of her own amalgamation of eggsperiences, refracted through her own poetic syntactical sense and broader environmental interests. ... Egg purports to be about eggs, but in the end, eggs are really about Nicole Walker and Walker is really about us. In reading an object meditation such as this, the reader has to engage on several increasingly difficult levels. First, we accept Walker's fragments for whatever they are, that then evokes our own experiences with eggs, we go on to approach Walker's text comparatively both for parallels in our experiences and for contrasts in our resultant ideas about eggs. Then, if all has gone according to plan, and we can confidently say that Egg has turned out to be a good book, we can begin to carry a heightened awareness for eggs in our lives in order to collect additional experiences with eggs that will then fuel our further personal growth in this metaphorical area. When you pay mind to an object this deeply, it's a type of mission work. * PopMatters *