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Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.
Nicole Walker's Egg offers a series of short reflections on eggs as food, as art objects, as metaphor and feminist symbol, and as cultural icons. Along the way we get a history of the edible egg: how every culture eats eggs, how dinosaurs made eggs, the politics behind cage-free eggs, the nutritional advice about cholesterol in eggs, and the ways eggs make a soufflé, a cake, a cheese puff rise. Walker also writes about eggs as art-eggs for tempura paintings in the Renaissance, Faberge eggs, and Easter sugar eggs with little dioramas inside. There are a lot of clichés about eggs. This book takes “to make an omelet, you've got to break a few eggs” to the fullest extent of its meaning. If you take the saying literally, eggs are an ingredient of all kinds of creations, both edible and artistic. Every idea is a hatched one, every chicken born was once an egg, and how many eggs is a human female born with anyway?
Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.