Literature

duality

Susan Cain is the author of "Bittersweet." She says the experience of sadness can help us feel whole. Cain said "bittersweet" is one of those words we use, but don't know what it means.

Bernadine Evaristo

Bernardine Evaristo became the first Black woman to win the Booker Prize in 2019 for her novel “Girl, Woman, Other.” Evaristo talked with Shannon Henry Kleiber about how her childhood and her writing energize her advocacy supporting artists and writers of color.

Kipling with illustrations from his home.

If you want to cancel a famous writer because of his retrograde politics, Rudyard Kipling — author of "The White Man's Burden" — is an obvious choice. So should we still read Kipling? We ask novelist Salman Rushdie and literary scholar Chris Benfey.

yellow plains against a blue sky

From an early age, Ukrainian-American poet Ilya Kaminsky developed a deep personal understanding of the political power of poetry and language. He explains why poetry is such a powerful tool in crisis.

A typewriter in Ukrainian light

We talk with poets and novelists about how they deeply notice the historical time we live in — through their words and voice.

Orwell among roses

George Orwell was the great writer on tyranny and authoritarianism. But as Rebecca Solnit shows in her book "Orwell’s Roses," he was also a gardener who loved flowers and trees. Beauty and the natural world sustained him through difficult times.

Torrey Peters

One of the most eyebrow-raising books of 2021 was Torrey Peters’ debut novel, "Detransition, Baby.” Rolling Stone called it “the most subversive book of the year." It’s a story about three women – transgender and cisgender – and an unexpected pregnancy.

Akwaeke Emezi

Nigerian writer Akweake Emezi identifies as trans, non-binary and also an Ogbanje. In Emezi’s native Igbo culture, an Ogbanje is a spirit that can be born into a human — a spirit with a plural identity.

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