Arts and Culture

boats

Novelist and short story writer Ben Marcus is a novelist and short story writer talks about how the addictive quality of language is a big part of what makes short stories so powerful.More

You see an ad that promises the comforts of a nice suburban home, along with a full-time job. There's just one catch — you only spend half your time there; you spend the other half living in a prison cell. That's the premise behind Margaret Atwood's novel, "The Heart Goes Last," a blend of dystopia and social satire.More

Environmentalist Jennifer Jacquet recommends "Last Chance to See" by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine.More

Piles and piles of books

With her decision to step down as the chief book critic for the New York Times, Michiko Kakutani sent the book world reeling. In this piece from our archive, authors reflect on the impact of the NYT's' infamous head book critic.More

The thoroughly domesticated dog

Merrill Markoe loves dogs. She’s written two novels and many comic essays about our furry friends. Doug Gordon sat down to talk with her about how dogs became our besties.  More

revolutionary soldier

In the final volume of Laurie Halse Anderson's “Seeds of America” trilogy, white colonists everywhere can be heard talking about liberty and freedom – just not for African Americans. More

soldiers return home

For some veterans, coming home from war can often be a struggle. In his book "Tribe," journalist Sebastian Junger offers a nuanced and thought provoking take on why it’s so difficult and complicated for some returning veterans. More

Books and a figure

There’s a theory that reading fiction helps us learn to understand other people — and in the process, become kinder, better, more empathetic ourselves.More

hiding in yellow mist

Storytelling is all the rage these days — and everyone seems to have a life narrative. But not philosopher Galen Strawson. He says life stories often create an inauthentic version of ourselves.More

reading a story

Can a better life story make you happier? Psychologist Tim Wilson thinks so, and he describes a technique he calls "story-editing" to create a more hopeful and meaningful life narrative.More

Patti Smith

Legendary poet and singer Patti Smith has two selves. On stage, she revels in collaborating with the people around her and creating a memorable performance. But she reveals a very different self in her memoir "M Train." More

Fire man

TTBOOK producer Charles Monroe-Kane is a great storyteller who's led an adventurous life. Here's a wild story from his memoir "Lithium Jesus" about smuggling mob money when he lived in Prague in the 1990s.More

adults playing with Lego

Mary Kay Zuravleff's Dangerous Idea? Universal Recess.More

The word "sex" on an iron pillar

Robin Rinaldi was mid-life, mid-career and mid-marriage when she placed that ad. It launched her wild oats project – a year spent exploring sex.More

shame sad face sign

Can shame also be used for public good?  There’s a judge in Texas who’s famous for his creative – and controversial – shame-based sentences.  To hear how they work, let’s go back to Thanksgiving evening, 1996. Houston, Texas. More

Giant inflatable rat in front of Wells Fargo

Maybe shame – painful as it is – has some value. Maybe it’s not just an emotion, but a social tool. Jennifer Jacquet thinks that there’s an upside to shame. More

An offender  of prostitution exposed to public shame

Think there's a renaissance of public shaming online? You're right. There's something about the anonymity of social media has people who probably seem perfectly nice in person, posting vicious, scathing, humiliating comments online.More

Corporate Quotas

Talking about diversity is not always easy, but poet and writer Sofia Samatar believes it's crucial. She believes institutions should focus less on meeting quotas, and instead foster open and nuanced conversations about difference.More

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