Category: News

Free Is and Free Ain’t

Are novelists who write about slavery reminding us of its ongoing effects, or using the past to illuminate problems specific to the present? Are they arguing that slavery never stopped shaping ...

Shoptalk: Overheard At MLA

Literary scholars say the darndest things, and their comments at this year’s annual Modern Language Association convention in Philadelphia proved no exception to this rule. From chatter overheard in bathrooms and on barstools …

Trump Syllabus 3.0

This course explores one of the most unanticipated events in modern political history: the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States of America. We ask three basic questions: How did Trump win? Where …

The Ferrante Paradox

Reading Frantumaglia, the new collection of letters, interviews, and occasional prose from Elena Ferrante, I was struck by how often the author opened her correspondence with an apology. “I apologize ...

Charlotte Brontë’s Anger

You might think that a museum show about an iconoclastic Victorian author would, in these postelection weeks, constitute a kind of escapism. Not so when that author is Charlotte Brontë. An ...

Anthropocene and Empire

In the autumn of 1839, an unusually strong tropical storm devastated coastal communities along the Bay of Bengal in what was then the English East India Company’s premier settlement. A decade later ...

Rape Culture Syllabus

I just start kissing them. Just kiss—I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Whatever you want. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.   —Donald ...

Art, Protest, Riot

If we could break America’s spellbound gaze on the presidential election, the pressing question of national politics would be this: will the recent fires ignited by Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives ...

Reader of the Month: Alps

Happy #Caturday! Alps, friend of Public Books, ponders life in #GayBerlin. #RobertBeachy @bravohotelpapa @aaknopf A photo posted by Public Books (@publicbooksdotorg) on Sep 17, 2016 at 9:40am PDT

Reader of the Month: Winona

Happy #blackcatappreciationday ! Winona, friend of Public Books, is celebrating today with her 3 all-time favorite books. #animalliberation #whenspeciesmeet #menexplainthingstome A photo posted by ...

Rio, Capital of Disaster Capitalism

The Olympic rings loom large over Rio de Janeiro. Seven years after the city won its bid to host the games, the impending two-week extravaganza has swept changes across the Marvelous City, as Rio is ...

The Best and Worst Roald Dahl Adaptations

Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG opened earlier this month, to mixed reviews and a box office neither big nor friendly. Now seems like a good time to take stock of the various ...