Literature

Ben Marcus talks about another one of the stories he chose for the "New American Stories" anthology — "Going for a Beer" by Robert Coover.

You've probably seen Jesse Eisenberg in films like "The Social Network," "The Squid and the Whale" and "The End of the Tour." But have you read his fiction debut?

against nature

How do you go from producing riveting stories about real people for "This American Life" to writing surreal short stories? Diane Cook is the person to ask.

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.

typewriter
Air Dates:
  • November 08, 2015
  • August 19, 2017
  • March 10, 2018

Short stories can be harder to write than novels, but just as great.

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.

ipad reading

Are we losing the ability to read difficult books? Cognitive scientist Maryanne Wolf says we need to develop a "bi-literate reading brain" so that we can switch back and forth between the deep reading of print and the skimming of electronic texts.

When she moved back to Jordan, molecular biologist Rana Dajani realized that children there didn't read for pleasure. So she started a reading program at her local mosque. Since then, her reading program has reached more than 10,000 kids in Jordan and has spread across the Middle East.

books

Can we ever know how people used to read, say, 500 years ago? Princeton historian Tony Grafton is obsessed with that question.

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