What If We’ve Been Misunderstanding Monsters?

Fictional evil creatures might be more nuanced—and have more to teach us—than has long seemed.
An illustration of Incan ceremonies

How an Incan Nobleman Contested Spanish History

Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala left behind a one-of-a-kind object that undermines the crónicas de Indias.
Painting of a woman's hand holding a pomegranate

The Paradoxical Pomegranate

Aphrodisiac and contraceptive, enflaming and cooling, the pomegranate was a balancing act, mediating between opposing states.
A Cheshire cat stuffed toy, from the permanent collection of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

A Brief History of Literary Cats

There’s nothing like curling up with a good book and a soft cat. Even better is a book with a cat in it.
Nella Larsen, 1928

The Plagiarism Scandal That Ended Nella Larsen’s Career

Larsen's 1930 story "Sanctuary" had a similar plot to an earlier British story. So what? Perhaps the tale never really belonged to either writer.
A still from Dune, 2021

The Ecological Prescience of Dune

Frank Herbert’s novel isn't just about space messiahs, giant sandworms, and trippy space drugs. At its core, the sci-fi epic is about ecology.
a passenger on the London Underground, reading D H Lawrence's 'Lady Chatterley's Lover'

Would You Let Your Servant Read This Book?

How the ban on D. H. Lawrence's book Lady Chatterley's Lover was reversed.
Book cover: The cover of a copy of The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky 

Source: https://flickr.com/photos/cdrummbks/3756574568

The Power of Sibling Bonds in The Brothers Karamazov

In the year of Dostoevsky's bicentennial, a revisiting of familial relationships in one of his most popular works.
Charles Chesnutt

The Ghosts of Slavery in Charles Chesnutt’s Fiction

What begins as a magical escape from the horrors of plantation life soon turns into a spine-chilling testament to slavery’s dehumanizing effects.