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Maira Kalman

Lost love: the universal currency

in Fiction by

Your heart’s been broken before. Perhaps it happened many years ago, or perhaps it occurred more recently. Whenever the wound was inflicted, whoever was to blame, the experience was formative—like puberty, with which heartache often corresponds. Obviously, your ordeal was intensely personal; at the same time, you felt connected to a larger community. All those songs that suddenly gained a deeper significance; all that poetry that became (briefly) tolerable. Love lost is a universal currency: honored everywhere, despite your inclination to hoard it. Why We Broke Up, by Daniel Handler (art by Maira Kalman), is a fictional account of one such love lost. Specifically, Min (high school student, “interesting” girl) has dumped Ed (high school student, athlete and offhand homophobe),…

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