What role does food play in your book?
Porochista Khakpour was born in Tehran in 1978 and raised in the Greater Los Angeles area (South Pasadena, to be exact). Her first language was Farsi, her second (and luckily mostly forgotten) tongue, Valley Girl. She attended Sarah Lawrence College and The Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars MA program. She has been awarded fellowships from Johns Hopkins University, Northwestern University, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Yaddo.
She began writing as an arts and entertainment journalist—her subjects have spanned from clubs (Paul Oakenfold!) to couture (Paul Poiret!); Maggie Gyllenhaal (Maggie’s first big feature!) to Fabio (Porochista’s first feature at 16!); New York City’s finest drinking establishments (Paper magazine bar columnist, 2000-2001, as well as New York magazine online bar critic) to rural Illinois’s most dangerous skydiving compound (2004 staff writer stint at The Chicago Reader). Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Daily Beast, The Village Voice, The Chicago Reader, Paper, Flaunt, Nylon, Bidoun, Alef, Canteen, nerve.com and FiveChapters.com, among others.
She currently spends a third of her time in New York City and two thirds three hours away in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania where she teaches Fiction at Bucknell University.
Question: Why does Xerxes serve his father Fruity Pebbles?
Khakpour: Well I wanted to at that moment give the most mundane edibles of American existence, right? For young people particularly, I wanted to create . . . Even though Xerxes has gotten his first apartment in New York, it might as well have just been a dorm. He had no real food. He had, you know, dry cereal, stale milk, and some odds and ends in the house. And for the father who was just visiting him for the first time in New York, it was a shock. You know in Iran and in Iranian households out here, food is major. And food is a celebration, and it’s always a feast. And you don’t . . . You know my parents were always horrified when they would hear of how I lived in the States; and how, you know . . . how I always had this scrappy, college-like existence. They would probably think the same today if they visited my apartment. But it’s so at odds with the sort of natural grandeur that Persian households try to instill. So I wanted . . . I think that that was sort of an easy moment for cultural reflection. You know I think it’s a lot of those mundane things, a lot of those small details that add up to the bigger conflicts. Those . . . those little moments where people see their differences that create greater and greater divides. And for the father and son in the novel, those differences ultimately reach a really devastating boiling point that looks irreparable.
Xerxes serves Fruity Pebbles to his visiting father, who is deeply offended by the offering.
Beyond Beef sizzles and marbleizes just like real beef, Beyond Meat says.
- Shares of Beyond Meat opened at around $200 on Tuesday morning, falling to nearly $170 by the afternoon.
- Wall Street analysts remain wary of the stock, which has been on a massive hot streak since its IPO in May.
- Beyond Meat faces competition from Impossible Foods and, as of this week, Tyson.
Average waiting time for hitchhikers in Ireland: Less than 30 minutes. In southern Spain: More than 90 minutes.
- A popular means of transportation from the 1920s to the 1980s, hitchhiking has since fallen in disrepute.
- However, as this map shows, thumbing a ride still occupies a thriving niche – if at great geographic variance.
- In some countries and areas, you'll be off the street in no time. In other places, it's much harder to thumb your way from A to B.
A recent study used data from the Big Five personality to estimate psychopathy prevalence in the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C.
- The study estimated psychopathy prevalence by looking at the prevalence of certain traits in the Big Five model of personality.
- The District of Columbia had the highest prevalence of psychopathy, compared to other areas.
- The authors cautioned that their measurements were indirect, and that psychopathy in general is difficult to define precisely.
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