Rivka Galchen, "The Region of Unlikeness"

A young grad student and two academic types form an unlikely trio.

(from The New Yorker, March 24, 2008)

“Jacob’s a boor, isn’t he?” Ilan said. Or maybe he said “bore” and I heard “boor” because Ilan’s way of talking seemed so antiquated to me. I had so few operating sources of pride at that time. I was tutoring and making my lonely way through graduate school in civil engineering, where my main sense of joy came from trying to silently outdo the boys—they still played video games—in my courses. I started going to that coffee shop every day.

What at first seems like a story about gender politics among intellectuals turns out to be something much more entertaining (in a sci-fi/conspiracy sort of way). Would say more but it’s actually been awhile since I read this one. You can read it here.

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