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Recommended R&R from Chief Curator Elissa Auther

Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs and William and Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator Elissa Auther shares her antidotes to the grind of working from home.

The Signature of All Things
Elizabeth Gilbert

This book follows the life of a fictional nineteenth-century botanist named Alma Whittaker whose expertise is slow growing moss. It’s Gilbert’s unlikely combination of a history of early science and a romance plot that makes the novel hard to put down.

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous
Ocean Vuong

The Vietnamese-American poet’s debut novel is a fragmentary and moving autobiographical story of immigration, survival, and the author’s coming-of-age written in the form of a letter to his mother, whose mix of violence and love is honestly explored.

The Dream of the Moving Statue
Kenneth Gross

For the academically inclined out there. As I continue my research for a forthcoming exhibition about puppets and performing objects, I am enjoying this compelling investigation of the fantasies we project onto inanimate objects.

The Rider and Songs My Brother Taught Me

Continuing a thread in my first post regarding my love of the Alt-Western, I highly recommend Chloé Zhao’s films. Exceptionally beautiful and sensitive, they feature nonprofessional actors playing versions of themselves set in the American West.

RuPaul’s Drag Race

When it comes to Reality TV, I don’t think you can go wrong with Season 12. The judges have an especially wonderful time cracking themselves up with the challenges they throw out to the queens. Plus—shout-out to MAD—there’s an Anna Sui impersonator in the second episode!

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