Tolstoy’s great short story “The Death of Ivan Ilyich” is really about how we avoid thoughts of death, and in doing so, sidestep our lives all together.
Dawnie Wilson’s rocking debut novel “The Final Revival of Opal and Nev” is about the greatest musical group that never existed and all the things they took from each other, and left behind.
The second book in Butler’s Parables series shows how our stories can often blind us to reality, but also keep us alive.
Lending libraries began among the lumières who could afford them. Thoughts on public bookcases, private vices, and their discontents.
Octavia Butler’s 1993 novel Parable of the Sower posits a future dystopia that’s located just right next door to us, and gives a few glimmers of hope that individuals might work together and make it slightly less horrible.
François-René de Chateaubriand tried to find his way in the moments after the old world had ceased to be, and the new one had not yet come into being
Richard Wright’s “lost” 1942 novel of guilt, exile, and spiritual initiation has been fortuitously pulled up from the memory hole. It’s no less urgent today.
Hanif Abdurraqib’s song of praise never elides Black pain or the reality of racism; but centers and is held aloft by Black miracles.
Let’s explode the Canon and cultivate critical distance, opening up new vistas and leaving behind stale arguments.