Literature

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." 

"Solo Faces" by James Salter

Writer David Morris explains why "Solo Faces" by James Salter is one of his favorite books.

Where do you turn to for inspiration on how to live a meaningful life? Religion? Family? Great books? Poet David Whyte finds inspiration in everyday words. In his book Consolations, Whyte examines the deeper, often surpising meanings of 52 ordinary words.

Books on books on books

Why do we keep dividing the world of books into different genres — like romance novels, science fiction and literary fiction? Novelist Lauren Beukes says we should simply get rid of the whole idea of genre.

Teju Cole

Going blind in one eye would unnerve anyone. And for a photographer, it’s especially upsetting. But Teju Cole found that his big blind spot syndrome taught him a new way to look at the world — and actually changed his photography.

Site of Thoreau's Hut, Concord, Mass.

Biographer Laura Dassow Walls on how author Henry David Thoreau offers a timeless model of disruptive social criticism.

Sherman Alexie

Some trips are more about psychic distance, like that of novelist Sherman Alexie. He's spent his whole life shuttling across cultural divides.

A glowing radium clock.

How painting radium on watches and instrument dials killed more than 50 young women working in Ottawa, Illinois.

A Tale of Love and Darkness

Israel Story radio host Mishy Harman recommends "A Tale of Love and Darkness" by Amos Oz.

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