Literature

field hockey witch

The 1980s were a golden age for witches. Women everywhere started covens. Among them, the girls field hockey team at Danvers High School in Massachusetts. At least, that’s how Quan Barry imagines it in her recent novel, “We Ride Upon Sticks.”

The hangman of Stuttgart shows Kepler's mother instruments of torture.

In 17th century Germany, the mother of famed astronomer Johannes Kepler, Katharina Kepler, was accused of being a witch. Centuries later, author Rivka Galchen has taken her story and spun it into fiction in her book "Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch."

a witch in the skies

They’ve been hunted and silenced and burned at the stake, but witches are still practicing the craft. We take you from the 17th century to the online witch communities of today.

sea wall on a cliff

British journalist John Lanchester’s recent novel “The Wall” paints a very chilly picture of climate catastrophe. It begins in the future, when rising sea levels and an immigration crisis pit children against parents.

a barren tree in Nambia

Lydia Millet mined Bible stories and parables to write her very contemporary novel about climate change, "A Children’s Bible.” She says that fiction can help us sort through hard feelings about climate change in a way daily news stories can't.

Pump-jack mining crude oil with the sunset

Floods, wildfires, winds and extreme temperatures. We talk with the people who are writing the story of climate change as we are living it.

book on a table

One of the most fun things we get to do is bring the soundscape of a novel to life — cue the monsters, the storms, the footsteps of a creature emerging slowly from the ocean. This week, we listen to our favorite cinema of the ear.

Barred owl

Heather Swan is a writer with a gift for listening to the natural world. Still, she didn't know what to make of the barred owl who came to visit her every day for three weeks. And then she realized, with a jolt, the owl had a message for her.

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