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New York

Episode 2 of 5

Joanna Robertson argues that book-shopping in New York is not just about buying goods, but also about intellectual validation and building bridges to Europe.

Joanna Robertson is a journalist and mother who has lived in five foreign countries, where she has observed that local shopping habits tell you a lot about the place. In these Essays, she argues that when people go shopping, they don't just purchase goods, they also buy into something else. Joanna Robertson takes us shopping with the locals and explores these ulterior motives and what they reveal about the residents of five cities: Rome, New York, Berlin, Tirana and Joanna's current home, Paris.

Thus book-shopping in New York is also about intellectual validation - or, as Joanna found when shopping for books with the late Susan Sontag, about building intellectual bridges to Europe.

Producer: Arlene Gregorius.

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15 minutes

Photo of food store in Rome's Trastevere area by Felix Semyonov

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