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A Dozen Ovatures
in conversation with MOLLY BIRNBAUM
Harvard Book Store welcomes LIZZIE STARK—participation designer and author—for a discussion of her new book Egg: A Dozen Ovatures. She will be joined in conversation by MOLLY BIRNBAUM—Editor in Chief of Ten Speed Press.
A Return to In-Person Events
Harvard Book Store is excited to be back to in-person programming. To ensure the safety and comfort of everyone in attendance, the following Covid-19 safety protocols will be in place at all of our Harvard Book Store events until further notice:
- Face coverings are required of all staff and attendees when inside the store. Masks must snugly cover nose and mouth.
The egg is a paradox―both alive and not alive―and a symbol as old as culture itself. In this wide-ranging and delightful journey through its natural and cultural history, Lizzie Stark explores the egg’s deep meanings, innumerable uses, and metabolic importance through a dozen dazzling specimens.
From Mali to Finland, mythologies around the globe have invested the egg with powers of regeneration and fecundity, often ascribing the origin of the world to a cosmic egg. An oracle to Romans, fought over by Gold Rush gangs, used as the foundation of the Clown Egg Registry, and blasted into space, the egg has taken on larger proportions than, say, the ovum of an ostrich.
It has starred in global dishes from the Korean comfort food ttukbaegi gyeranjjim to the less regaled yet iconic soft-boiled egg. Stark writes a biography of French-born chef Jacques Pépin through his egg creations, and weaves in her personal experiences, like attempting to make the perfect omelet or trying her hand at pysanky―the Ukrainian art of egg decoration. She also explores her fraught relationship to the eggs in her body due to a familial link to cancer, and shares her delight in becoming a mother.
Filled with colorful characters and fascinating morsels, Egg is playful, informative, and guarantees that you’ll never take this delicate ovoid for granted again.
Praise for Egg
“Egg is cheeky, playful, and deeply informative―in short, a complete delight.” ―Jennifer Egan, author of The Candy House
“Lizzie Stark makes the egg her protagonist, tracing its biography in a dazzling probe of art, science, outer space, menus―and her body―across the globe. Imaginative and wildly original, Egg asks us to consider no less than the origin of everything and our role in maintaining the chicken-and-egg system.” ―Marie Mutsuki Mockett, author of American Harvest
“Egg is one of those rare and voracious books that defies categorization. Lizzie Stark uses the egg as a means of hatching one startling inquiry after another. Like her culinary hero Jacques Pépin, Lizzie Stark makes magic out of the simplest ingredients: her insatiable curiosity, keen intelligence, and a literary style that is wry, elegant, and searching” ―Steve Almond, author of Candyfreak and All the Secrets of the World
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