Susan Cheever on Louisa May Alcott: “A writer who refused conventional ideas of women’s roles”
Dan Wakefield on Kurt Vonnegut: “If anything he was a counter-counter-culture hero”
James Shapiro on how American attitudes toward Shakespeare keep changing
Ezra Greenspan on William Wells Brown: “The most rivetingly inventive, entertaining black writer of his era”
David Rieff on how his mother, Susan Sontag, lived as “a citizen of the Republic of Letters”
Christopher Carduff on the “everyday sublime” of John Updike’s short stories
Ian Frazier on why Ring Lardner is “a major figure in twentieth-century letters”
J. D. McClatchy on W. S. Merwin: “A new sound for American poems”
Blake Bailey on “the versatility and breadth of achievement” of Philip Roth’s fiction and the challenge of writing his biography
Charles Baxter on the “moments in any Sherwood Anderson story that you just can’t forget”
How antislavery writings reconnect us with one of the most crucial themes in American literary history
Caroline Fraser: Why the Little House books are enjoyed by both children and adult readers
Marilène Phipps-Kettlewell: Jack Kerouac and the “universal experience of being alive”
Robert Polito on the “melancholy and yearning” of David Goodis, who “always seems poised for rediscovery”
Laurence Senelick on the plays of Arthur Miller’s middle phase, experimentalism in theater, and (of course) Marilyn Monroe
Sanford Schwartz on the “emotional rightness and believability” of Pauline Kael’s film criticism
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