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Red Sox and Bluefish: And Other Things That Make New England New England Paperback – April, 1987

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From Publishers Weekly

In these essays that first appeared in the Boston Globe magazine, Orlean notes the quirks, oddities and characters who lend a distinctive charm to New England. There's a hilarious chapter on Harvard Square. ("Do you want to relive the '60s? The '70s? The early '80s? Have you ever matriculated at, applied to, or pretended to attend Harvard University?") There is an essay on boiled dinners. ("No New Englander dares swagger on about the limpid droop of Mom's overboiled cabbage, the soggy expanse of her waterlogged potatoes, her sodden lump of beef.") Orlean also looks at Necco candy, a regional favorite, noting that "when the white wafers are snapped in two in the dark, they emit a spark of light." From bowling (the candlepin version) and bad driving to dropping the r from the English language and shopping at Filene's basement (should one brag about the bargains or not?), many curious facets of New England are investigated in a hilarious fashion.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Susan Orlean has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1992. She is the author of seven books, including Rin Tin Tin, Saturday Night, and The Orchid Thief, which was made into the Academy Award-winning film Adaptation. She lives with her family and her animals in upstate New York and may be reached at and

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