Norma Jean the Termite Queen

A Forgotten Feminist Novel About the Creative Power of Rage

Remembering history helps us to parse the present, and it follows that women struggling to process these "decades of pent-up anger" can find apt reading material in the feminist fiction of the 1970s.
Karen Blixen

The Writer Behind Out of Africa

For Karen Blixen, the Danish author of "Out of Africa," role, purpose, fate and destiny are intertwined
Samuel Richardson

Why the First Novel Created Such a Stir

Samuel Richardson's Pamela, the first novel in English, astounded and terrified readers. Authors have striven for the same effect since.
Censorship bubble

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Words?

Censorship isn't just redacted text and banned words. What happens when censorship is furtive, flying under the radar as much as possible?
bored woman

On Embracing Boredom

What does "boredom" even mean? As both a word and a concept, boredom is not a universal phenomenon but a historical construction specific to our times.
Kipling in study

Rudyard Kipling’s Little-Known Poem on New Year’s Resolutions

With New Year’s Day on the horizon, many people will write their resolutions. Rudyard Kipling's poem explores the trials and tribulations of resolutions.
Winter Shack Landscape

A Feminist Reading of The Long Winter

In The Long Winter, often praised as Laura Ingalls Wilder’s greatest novel, the villain may be not the snow, but oppressive gender roles.
Christmas banquet

How Victorians’ Fear of Starvation Created Our Christmas Lore

One scholar sees more in the Christmas food of authors like Charles Dickens—English national identity and class.
Old open book

The Great American Game of Picking the Great American Novel

Arguing about the great American novel was perfect fodder for periodicals in the late 1800s, and it is catnip for a listicle-obsessed internet.
a sunrise over a frozen landscape winter poems

10 Winter Poems To Cozy Up To

Settle in to the winter season with verse from Dylan Thomas, H.D., Pushkin, and more.