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Cooking with Giovanni Boccaccio

Please join Valerie Stivers and Hank Zona for a virtual wine tasting on Friday, May 15, at 6 P.M. on The Paris Review’s Instagram account. For more details, click here, or scroll to the bottom of the page. My hands smell like strawberries and chicken liver, and I’m drinking a Vernaccia, the “good white wine” of The Decameron. In the middle of cooking, I flip through my phone, scrolling through the orange banners announcing death tolls. It’s incongruous and heartbreaking. As a schoolchild, I used to thrill myself with the horror of the World Wars and spent hours in the library daydreaming over what epoch-defining disaster would happen to me. Vietnam was over. Nuclear fears were easing. It was the...

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