The XXEffect | Who would you most like to have over for brunch


Natasha Vargas-Cooper

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Well, let me cheat and start with someone who is only available for meals in the afterlife: film critic Pauline Kael. Kael is, more than any other writer in my brief relationship with literature, the writer who made me want to write. She loved the pulp and poetry of movies...

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Michael-Anne Hogan


I would invite the fabulous Bette Midler. You may think it odd for a person in her early 20s to choose someone who is peer-age to my mother, however the movie ‘Beaches’ was my favorite movie growing up and to me it will remain an all-time favorite. I don’t know if I identified with the movie out of some unexplainable, mysterious foreshadowing about how my own life may unfold...

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Dara Torres


If I could invite anyone to brunch, I'd invite Gertrude Ederle.
Ms. Ederle was an Olympic gold medalist in swimming, but more importantly, she was the first woman to swim across the English Channel.  At the time she did, only five men had ever accomplished that feat...

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Patti Micklin


George Clooney, of course.  Oh wait -- this is brunch, not a romantic interlude! A girl can fantasize. But in reality, having my two sisters and brother over for brunch would truly be a gift. We’re scattered across the country – Colorado, Louisiana, Florida and New York – and only see each other once or twice a year. This would be a quiet opportunity for us to reconnect, be completely silly...

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Paula Deen


I don’t need to think twice about this; I would ask my late Grandmomma Paul to brunch if I could. Bless her sweet self—Grandmomma Paul taught me how to cook. I spent countless hours in her kitchen getting an education on all the good things in life—Southern food, of course, but she also taught me the value of love, family...

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Samina Quraeshi


I would like to have Hillary Clinton over to my farmhouse in New England. I would serve her tea spiced with cardamoms, whole wheat chappatis brushed with butter, dipped in yoghurt and spiced lentils, and rice pilaf with layers of chicken and saffron.

The aromas would transport us to my other world, Pakistan, where I was raised and which is now the epicenter of so much strife...

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Heidi Klum


If I could invite anyone to brunch, it would have to be God.  Especially now, as a mom of four young children, I find myself trying to see the world through their eyes and really getting drawn into the bigger issues.  It’s like when your kids start asking you, “Why…why…why?”  And then I start thinking about the kind of world and society we’re leaving to them...

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Tiffany O’Hara


Who would I want to have over for brunch? Or rather, who would I like to ply with a Bloody Mary or three and have a fantastic conversation with? It’s not a hard choice for me. After getting over the fact that having her over for brunch would mean she’d have to see my tiny little apartment, I’d love to invite Hillary Clinton...

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Christiane Amanpour


Wars, disasters, crises -- and now this devastating earthquake in Haiti -- all provoke massive outpourings of aid, global generosity and even U.S and international troops, but all that attention is too often short-term, inevitably fading away once the cameras have moved on or compassion fatigue sets in.

So the person I would most like to have brunch with today is U.S. Secretary of State General George C. Marshall...

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Barbara Reiss Newman

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I’d love to be able to have brunch with my maternal grandmother, Ethyl Yuspeh, who was 97 when she died in the summer of 2007.  I remember Granny as a warm, caring, delicate, perceptive and sophisticated woman. She was born and raised in my own hometown of New Orleans—unusual for a Jewish person in the 1920’s...

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