Literature

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In addition to her haunting short stories and novels, Shirley Jackson also wrote comic essays about her struggles to balance her writing career with family life. Her children Laurence Jackson Hyman and Sarah Hyman DeWitt have assembled a collection of that writing called "Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings."

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Ruth Franklin is the author of "Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life." In her book, Franklin argues that Jackson's body of work channeled women's anxieties at the time, representing "nothing less than the secret history of American women of her era."

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We take a closer look at one of Shirley Jackson's most haunting short stories, "The Daemon Lover." Joan Wylie Hall is our guide.  She's the author of "Shirley Jackson: A Study of the Short Fiction."

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. 

Blues People

Alex Abramovich recommends "Blues People: Negro Music in White America" by Leroi Jones, who later changed his name to Amiri Baraka.

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Hip hop created a sound that changed music, art, fashion, and politics. What's next? Diplomacy? Journalism? Education? Philosophy?

"The Days Of Abandonment" by Elena Ferrante

Alissa Quart recommends Elena Ferrante's "Days of Abandonment" and Elizabeth Hardwick's "Sleepless Nights."

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." 

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