A Book of Divination for the End of the World

The Falnama, or Book of Omens, combined apocalyptic representations from many sources. Say a prayer, ask your question, and flip to a random page.
arsenic book

Some Books Can Kill

Poisonous green pigments laced with arsenic were once a common ingredient in book bindings, paints, wallpapers, and fabrics. Yikes.
Jane Austen Sanditon

What Exactly Is Jane Austen’s Sanditon?

An unfinished, fragmentary Austen novel is being adapted for television. Can we ever know what Austen meant for this book to eventually become?
Jessie Chaffee Florence in Ecstasy

Expecting the Unexpected: Researching Florence in Ecstasy

Debut novelist Jessie Chaffee on how she researched her critically-acclaimed new novel Florence in Ecstasy, with a little help from JSTOR.
Jordy Rosenberg

Queering Jack Sheppard

An interview with author Jordy Rosenberg about his new novel, Confessions of the Fox.
Maxim Gorky

Revolutionary Writer Maxim Gorky’s NYC Sex Scandal

In 1906, Russian Bolshevik writer Maxim Gorky was given a warm welcome in the United States. Then the American media manufactured a scandal about his girlfriend.
Hammock reader summer

Summer Reading in JSTOR

Stories by Meg Wolitzer, David Sedaris, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, E. Annie Proulx, Amy Tan, Donna Tartt, Lydia Millet, Lauren Groff, and more.
Whaling painting

Did North America’s Longest Painting Inspire Moby-Dick?

Herman Melville likely saw the panorama “Whaling Voyage,” which records the sinking of the whaler Essex, while staying in Boston in 1849.
WB Yeats

W.B. Yeats Loved Tarot Cards

The august Irish poet was once a member of a secret occult order called The Hermetic Society of the Golden Dawn. He was also an avid student of the Tarot.
Florida car

Wild and Finally Free in Lauren Groff’s Florida

Lauren Groff’s latest story collection explores the literary archetype of the Orphan.