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Nation Topics - Literature

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Sylvia Beach and James Joyce at Shakespeare and Company, in 1922

Censors thought it dirty and rebellious, but what makes Ulysses radical is its dramatization of the unending conflict between good and evil.

Gabriel García Márquez

He taught us how to live with loss, and he told us, over and over again, that other utopias are possible.

The author's half-forgotten masterpiece, Benito Cereno, provides fascinating insight into issues of slavery, freedom, individualism—and Islamophobia.

The events behind his story Benito Cereno are more than two centuries old, but the deceptions of racial inferiority that Melville exposes resonate today.

Passport photo of D.H. Lawrence

The process of discovery, not their profundities as such, is what makes Lawrence’s poems so gripping.

James Joyce, 1915

A legal quirk enabled Samuel Roth to pirate Ulysses. Was Roth a copyright anarchist or a pioneer?

Albert Camus photographed by Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris, circa 1945

Algerian Chronicles shows that Camus still has something to say to us—not about terrorism but economic justice.

photo of Janet Malcolm

The war between democracy and aristocracy in Janet Malcolm’s Forty-One False Starts.

Photo of George Saunders

In the short stories of Tenth of December, the impression of chaos belies a careful design.

Blogs

Proust, a reviewer wrote in 1921, “may not be what his hero set out to be in his childhood, the greatest writer in the world, but he is one of those.”

December 7, 2013

McGovern has always practiced a politics that runs deeper; a politics rooted in his love of America’s history, its literature and its possibility.

July 19, 2012

The Mormon Church is a corporation, says author and essayist Terry Tempest Williams, and there is reason to fear a Romney presidency....

May 27, 2012

Since my poker buddy John Heilemann was good enough to drop off a copy of his embargoed book,

 

January 12, 2010