Cixin Liu

“To Reach the Pure Realm of the Imaginary:” A Conversation with Cixin Liu

The science fiction author Cixin Liu is best known for his mind-bending trilogy The Three Body Problem.
Six book covers

Editors’ Picks: What We’re Reading

The history of Native resistance, the philosophy of love, the medicalization of madness, color in fairy tales, and dinosaur bones.
Source: Getty

The Science of Baby-Name Trends

What makes a name suddenly pop—and then die? Social scientists and historians have been puzzling over this for decades.
An illustration by James Gillray, 1807

Vulgarity: An Alternative Language of the People

Was Francis Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue the font of all popular culture studies?
A Christmas Carol

Pirating Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, in the 1840s

When Parley's Illuminated Library published a pirated version of A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens decided he had had enough.
Emily Dickinson, circa 1847

17 Poems by Emily Dickinson

Celebrate Emily Dickinson's birthday with a selection of her poems.
Mark Twain and James Fenimore Cooper

Mark Twain v. James Fenimore Cooper

A trial in the court of public opinion.
A man reading a newspaper with facebook reactions in a cloud around him

The Incredibly True Story of Fake Headlines

Are you still reading? Editors frequently use this space to include important contextual information about a news story.
Walter Benn Michaels

Walter Benn Michaels: What’s His Deal?

The literary critic Walter Benn Michaels challenges the prevailing trends of postmodernist theory.
A manz

How Linguists Are Using Urban Dictionary

Urban Dictionary continues a long history of recording low-brow language. It’s also a repository of a specific kind of internet immaturity.