Jennifer Egan's "Black Box"

The first installment of Egan’s story, being told one tweet at a time.


People rarely look the way you expect them
to, even when you’ve seen pictures.

The first thirty seconds in a person’s
presence are the most important.

If you’re having trouble perceiving and
projecting, focus on projecting.

Necessary ingredients for a successful
projection: giggles; bare legs; shyness.

The goal is to be both irresistible and

When you succeed, a certain sharpness
will go out of his eyes.


Some powerful men actually call their
beauties “Beauty.”

Counter to reputation, there is a deep
camaraderie among beauties.

If your Designated Mate is widely feared,
the beauties at the house party where
you’ve gone undercover to meet him will
be especially kind.

Kindness feels good, even when it’s based
on a false notion of your identity and


Posing as a beauty means not reading
what you would like to read on a rocky
shore in the South of France.

Sunlight on bare skin can be as nourishing
as food.

Even a powerful man will be briefly
self-conscious when he first disrobes to his
bathing suit.

It is technically impossible for a man to
look better in a Speedo than in swim

If you love someone with dark skin, white
skin looks drained of something vital.