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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

The Decameron Project

New York Times Magazine / Online

“To have compassion for those who suffer is a human quality which everyone should possess,” writes Giovanni Boccaccio in The Decameron, “especially those who have required comfort themselves in the past and have managed to find it in others.” Writing this collection of stories back in 14th-century Florence, Boccaccio was reflecting on human nature while looking upon a plague-ravaged world. Seven-hundred years later, amid the coronavirus pandemic, writers have found themselves similarly inspired. The New York Times Magazine has compiled its own version of The Decameron, consisting of 29 tales, and the authors are a real treat, with Margaret Atwood, Karen Russell, and David Mitchell among them. —E.C.

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