Arts and Culture

"Junebug"

Nathaniel Mary Quinn was abandoned as a child. Today, he’s a celebrated painter, exhibiting around the world. He tells Charles his remarkable story about talent and perseverance in the face of enormous odds.More

The many Alma Mahlers

Alma Mahler inspired symphonies, poems and paintings. She was lover and muse to some of the most celebrated artists of the early 20th century. Novelist Mary Sharratt thinks she would have been a great artist in her own right – if she hadn’t been born a woman. More

The creative mind

Novelist Siri Hustvedt knows how the creative process feels. Neuroscientist Heather Berlin knows what it looks like in the brain. Together with Steve, they explore the emerging science of creativity.More

Before John Muir and Charles Darwin, there was Alexander von Humboldt, the German scientist who shaped our understanding of nature. Now, he’s largely forgotten, but biographer Andrea Wulf says he was once the world's most famous scientist. More

Paul Wendell Jr.

Rapper Tall Paul uses hip-hop to reclaim his Native language—and he's not the only musician remixing Native culture.More

A powwow in 2015 at the Institute for American Indian Arts.

Tommy Orange's debut novel “There There” was one of the big breakout books of 2018. He told Steve that with his novel, he hoped to better represent modern Native Americans that have grown up living in cities.More

Person at the Institute for American Indian Arts.

A wide range of writers — now celebrated with commercial and critical success — work to celebrate an evolving literary canon without limiting it. More

bamboo graffitt

If climate change is the most urgent problem facing humanity, why are there so few novels about it? Acclaimed novelist Amitav Ghosh believes that’s a big problem. He says climate change is less a science problem than a crisis of imagination.More

Western hemisphere of the moon

The moon explodes and the earth is doomed. Neal Stephenson's 800-page novel "Seveneves" spans 5,000 years of human survival in outer space.More

Karl Ove Knaussgard

Norwegian novelist Karl Ove Knausgaard talks about his autobiographical novel, “My Struggle,” as well as his unorthodox approach to writing.More

man playing guitar

Famous for his stories of people with brain disorders, Oliver Sacks wrote a lot about neurological mysteries, like the way a song can activate parts of the brain that language can’t even touch.More

Oakwood residents and singers

"To the Best of Our Knowledge" producer Shannon Henry Kleiber shares a story about her mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease two years ago, and the power of music.More

man reviewing photograph

Anne Basting has found asking people with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia open-ended queries, rather than pointed yes or no questions that require remembering something specific, can create powerful connections.More

cello player

After a 40 year career as a psychologist, Francine Toder decided to start playing the cello. The experience convinced her that music – and in fact all the arts – may be the best way to stimulate the brain and improve well-being late in life.More

Thomas Page McBee

Thomas Page McBee achieved a first recently – he became the first transgender man ever to box at Madison Square Garden. He talked to Angelo Bautista about what he learned about male violence and why men fight.More

Start of an amateur boxing match, Rayne, Louisiana. 1938. Photographer Lee Russell

In light of recent boxing tragedies, Charles and Steve are grappling with the ethics of boxing. It’s a debate that’s probably going on in a lot of places and will – unfortunately – continue.More

Toni Morrison, via Penguin Randomhouse (Michael Lionheart)

In a conversation from 2003, Toni Morrison reflected on how the civil rights movement had the unintended consequence of magnifying class differences.More

Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin traced the history of feminist anger and power in their new book, “Unladylike: A Field Guide to Smashing the Patriarchy and Claiming Your Space.”More

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