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V.S. Naipaul

A reporter’s journey involves writing with a sense of history and without false consolation.

Ellar Coltrane, age 7, in Boyhood

Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is as modest and patient an act of daredevilry as has ever been achieved on film.

Calving of an ice shelf in West Antarctica

How the rhetoric of ecoetiquette muddies writing about global warming.

Nadifa Mohamed

Nadifa Mohamed’s The Orchard of Lost Souls is a haunting and powerful novel.

Madonna and Child With Four Saints (Spedalingo Altarpiece), by Rosso Fiorentino

Why Italian Mannerists like Rosso Fiorentino were painting’s first avant-garde.

Pops, Cleo, Yvonne and Mavis Staples perform in a church.

For the Staple Singers and Stax Records, political engagement flowed from an artistic renaissance.

New Delhi, India, January 22, 2014

Why does the belief that women are safest when secluded still hold sway in India?

The Chelsea Hotel, November 18, 1983

Artists have become the shock troops of gentrification, even at the Chelsea Hotel.

Spinning gears: Toby Keith, July 6, 2013

The story of country music is not love and happiness but love and work.

Blogs

A new book takes exciting and historic trends a step too far.

March 23, 2012

A new book shows that the HIV virus was triggered by wanton imperial depredations.

February 28, 2012

How does the movie The Help "photoshop" American history?

February 27, 2012

Romney misattributed the key quote of his Florida victory speech to the pamphleteer. But that's hardly the only reason why Paine would have decried the Bain Capitalist.

February 1, 2012

Will the new president's mega-million-dollar makeover of the main library scare off scholars and leave the branches begging?

December 6, 2011

If the great Hiroshima novel remains unwritten, a number of major poets have written brilliantly on nuclear concerns.

August 16, 2011

There's rarely been as enjoyable and community-minded a way to help support children's literacy.

July 12, 2011

 Who gives a [insert expletive] about an Oxford comma?

July 11, 2011

Ahmed Chalabi’s daughter recounts the family’s saga and the ancien regime.

March 7, 2011