Literature

The mountain beckons

For years, David Roberts climbed some of Alaska’s biggest mountains, and made a number of first ascents. His new book is an examination of why some climbers feel compelled to push the edge of what’s possible.

Adam and Eve

We decided to trace Western culture's fixation on guilt back to one of its earliest origins — the story of Adam and Eve. It's only a page and a half in the Bible, but literary historian Stephen Greenblatt told Steve Paulson why it has been so influential.

Women Who Rule

It's common in literary and historical accounts of powerful women to make them out to be villains — witches, demons, succubi, changelings — or erase them entirely. Historian Kara Cooney, author Madeline Miller, Religious scholar Serenity Young, and classics scholar Emily Wilson talk about why that might be.

Antigone

Writer, classicist, and stand-up comic Natalie Haynes makes a strong case for reading ancient Greek and Roman literature in the modern age.

Circe

In Homer's "The Odyssey," Circe was a Greek goddess who turned Odysseus’ men into pigs. Today, Circe finally gets to tell her side of the story, thanks to novelist Madeline Miller.

Odysseus und Penelope

Classicist Emily Wilson is the first woman ever to publish an English translation of Homer’s epic. "In some ways, it should be a story that's less about me than about why it has taken the English speaking world so long before there's been a complete published translation of "The Odyssey" by a woman."

Philip Roth, on his fiction and memory

In his final years, the novelist came to terms with how his own story might influence the future interpretation of his fiction.

British writer Martin Amis is 68 years old. He’s written 14 novels, hundreds of essays, memoirs, even a screen play. But he has strong feelings about writers who work past their prime. So he feels the clock ticking — is it time to pack it in? When will he know?

Doors across borders.

The Pakistani novelist Mohsin Hamid sets his newest novel, "Exit West," in a world of permanent mass migration, in a city ripped apart by civil war. He told Steve Paulson he modeled it on his own city — Lahore, Pakistan.

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