Literature

Wooden Japanese figures

Author Min Jin Lee grew up Korean-American and she thought she knew her ancestors.  But when she moved to Tokyo, she discovered a history she didn’t know. The history of Koreans in Japan.

 Kazuo Ishiguro

Kazuo Ishiguro just won the Nobel prize. Here's the best stuff he's said to us.

Ulixes mosaic at the Bardo Museum in Tunis, Tunisia. 2nd century AD.

Daniel Mendelsohn was surprised—and unnerved—when his 81-year father enrolled in his seminar on "The Odyssey." And then delighted to see how his dad’s cranky comments excited his students. The experience also brought Daniel closer to his dad.

Making notes

If everyone’s a critic online, does it mean that cultural criticism doesn’t matter anymore?

Robot boy

Alexander Weinstein’s “Children of the New World” is a collection of cautionary tales about extreme emotional attachment to software and silicon.  

bamboo graffitt

If climate change is the most urgent problem facing humanity, why are there so few novels about it? Acclaimed novelist Amitav Ghosh believes that’s a big problem. He says climate change is less a science problem than a crisis of imagination.

Before John Muir and Charles Darwin, there was Alexander von Humboldt, the German scientist who shaped our understanding of nature. Now, he’s largely forgotten, but biographer Andrea Wulf says he was once the world's most famous scientist. 

earth from space

We’re starting to see a new kind of fiction: climate fiction. Lidia Yuknavitch’s “The Book of Joan” is one of the most stunning examples. It’s the story of a near-future where Earth is decimated and the last few survivors are stranded in space.

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