Loneliness at the diner

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Nighthawks Edward Hopper painting

“We’d asked the writers to e-mail us their wish lists, and Nighthawks topped almost every one. It was something about the loneliness, the coffee, the silence—everyone wanted to lay claim to that one desolate corner of the universe… How could this one object embody loneliness, I wondered, when people crowded shoulder to shoulder around it, shared it, traded it, paraded it around? If Hopper’s little coffee counter was lonely, it was in the way a prostitute was lonely. Or an actor.”

-from Rebecca Makkai’s 2010 short story “Peter Torrelli, Falling Apart”

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