An illustration from War of the Worlds

What The War of the Worlds Had to Do with Tasmania

H.G. Wells's famous science fiction novel imagines what would happen if Martians did to Great Britain what Europeans did to Tasmania.
Nancy Drew: The Clue of the Dancing Puppet

The Secret Syndicate behind Nancy Drew

If you remember your grade-school reading log, the Nancy Drew mysteries are by Carolyn Keene. Only she never existed.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Percy Bysshe Shelley

Mary Shelley’s Obsession with the Cemetery

The author of Frankenstein always saw love and death as connected. She visited the cemetery to commune with her dead mother. And with her lover.
Truman Capote

How Truman Capote Advanced the New Journalism

In Cold Blood changed the face of journalism. And yet years after its publication, we are still asking: how much of it was factually true?
Charles Dickens in 1858 writing at a desk

Charles Dickens and Fame vs. Celebrity

Many of our current celebrities are famous for being famous. Charles Dickens, the first self-made global media star, would've had a lot to say about this.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman

“The Yellow Wallpaper” and Women’s Pain

Charlotte Gilman wrote her famous short story in response to her own experience having her pain belittled and misunderstood by a male physician.
Bestselling author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at HCLS Miller Branch.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: I Became Black in America

Adichie speaks on the meaning of blackness, sexism in Nigeria, and whether the current feminist movement leaves out black women.
Harriet Beecher Stowe George Eliot

When Harriet Beecher Stowe and George Eliot Were Penpals

These 19th-century novelists might seem to have little in common. But for 11 years they wrote each other letters, forging an unusual literary friendship.
Alex Haley Roots

How Alex Haley Popularized Ancestral Searching

Today it's easy to have DNA tested. But before that technology was available, Alex Haley's Roots inspired generations to trace their families' histories.
James Tiptree, Jr Alice Sheldon

The Woman Behind James Tiptree, Jr.

James Tiptree, Jr., was a beloved sci-fi writer known for masculine prose and universal themes. Then her real identity was revealed: Alice Bradley Sheldon.