Christmas Carol illustration

How Charles Dickens Set the American Christmas Dinner Table

How did a religious celebration turn into a holiday that is all about home, family, and Christmas dinner? Turns out Charles Dickens has a lot to do with it.

The Art of Cutting Up Shakespeare

We should acknowledge the connection between cuts as bodily violence and cuts as violent ways of making art.
JSTOR Daily Friday Reads

Avi

The beloved and prolific children's literature author Avi was born on December 23, 1937.
Murió la Verdad (The Death of Truth)

The Collapse of Meaning in a Post-Truth World

2016 was certainly an unstable time in history. Even the way we use language to convey our collective fears about the state of society seems fractured.
Madame Bovary illustration

What Madame Bovary Revealed About the Freedom of the Press

Gustave Flaubert was put on trial for obscenity. Why didn't he fight government censorship harder?
Night Before Christmas

10 Classic Christmas Stories

We've gathered up some of our favorite literary takes on Christmas.
Jane Austen sketch

Jane Austen and the Value of Flaws

Jane Austen is known for self-assured heroines and love stories. But she also wrote a lot about the importance of being wrong.
a stack of colorful books in a library

Best Books Lists

Who invented the "Best Books" list?
Chrysler Building

On The Black Skyscraper: An Interview with Literary Critic Adrienne Brown

Early skyscrapers changed the ways we see race, how we see bodies, how we perceive and make judgments about people in the world.
Copenhagen

The Cozy Linguistics of Hygge and Other “Untranslatable” Words

Why English speakers love "hygge" and other "untranslatable" words about emotional states.