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Appetites drive us. Food, power, glory, destruction, for most of us in the Western world the Zen disposition of “not desiring” seems anathema. A voracious appetite for creativity and the need for new stimulus propels many artists, while for some, their unique physical appetites govern their lives and make for interesting art in and of themselves. In this issue we look at various appetites and desires, from the simple pleasures of a wild plum in Jane Hirshfield’s spare, luminous poem to the extreme ingestion of food by competitive eaters in Tom Burke’s profile, “The Long-Form Burrito Champion of the World.” The fiction in this issue is permeated with the need for escape—physical and psychological—as well as the desire for sex, sexual knowledge, and belonging. Appetites can’t help but lead to complications, even for the most liberated. Heather Hartley intereviews Catherine Millet, who, despite her international best-selling memoir, The Sexual Life of Catherine M., in which she bares the many, many sexual exploits of her libertine life, is still consumed by jealousy. As you delve into the issue, keep in mind Seneca’s admonition, “A well-governed appetite is the greater part of liberty.” Bon appétit.
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