Literature

Author Susan Orlean on how the worst library fire in American history brought an entire city together to save 700,000 books.

Alice Walker

Alice Walker recommends Richard Yates' novel following an advertising executive whose seemingly successful life quietly fractures under the pressure of mundanity, alcoholism, anger, and recklessness. She says she was drawn to the book because Yates' world was so different from hers.

Tommy Orange

Tommy Orange says he wasn't much of a reader in his early years. But a chance encounter with an absurd, experimental novel by John Kennedy Toole showed him a path to writing a novel that was truly his own.

Ross Gay

In a dark world, poet Ross Gay recommends "stacking delights." Share what you love, he says — not what you hate.

Twitterstorm

Journalist Alissa Quart thinks it's unfair when people's reputations are torn to shreds on Twitter for saying the wrong thing. She even wrote a poem about it.

woman on beach

Summer reading lists are full of so-called "beach books." But if you’ve got enough time to lounge by a pool or swing in a hammock, why not tackle something more substantial?

AI robots and dragons

Victor LaValle is the editor of a collection of short stories where — even in dire situations and terrifying futures — everyone has a place, and a chance at being the hero.

Megan Stielstra

Author Megan Stielstra tells the story of how she first crossed paths with "The Chronology of Water," Lidia Yuknavitch's award-winning memoir — the anti-memoir that broke new ground for speaking with candor about the joy and the pain of living.

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