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Articles on Literature

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Betty Smith’s novel sold millions of copies in the 1940s. Weegee/International Center of Photography via Getty Images

Betty Smith enchanted a generation of readers with ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn’ − even as she groused that she hoped Williamsburg would be flattened

No other 20th-century American novel did quite so much to burnish Brooklyn’s reputation. But Smith rarely saw her hometown through rose-colored glasses − and even grew to resent it.
America’s biggest book publishers originally viewed LGBTQ+ romance as a niche market. Klaus Vedfelt/DigitalVision via Getty Images

What’s behind the astonishing rise in LGBTQ+ romance literature?

It’s tempting to see this trend as a sign of the times. But the biggest book publishers started changing their approach only once they realized they were leaving money on the table.
Retranslations are making their way into book covers.

Why retranslate the literary classics?

Which version of “The Metamorphosis” or “Crime and Punishment” should you choose? In a particularly well-stocked library or bookshop, you could find many different English translations.
We need to speak more about how to become the kind of man who can openly show love for others while accepting love from those who care. (Shutterstock)

Rethinking masculinity: Teaching men how to love and be loved

Encouraging men to take the risk of expressing tender feelings for others is part of relying on love as a tool of anti-racist and decolonial education.
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky – Vasily Perov (1872). Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

How Dostoevsky overcame his gambling addiction

Dostoevsky’s sudden recovery from his gambling mania is an example of how a chance happening can change everything
Louisa May Alcott took part in a 19th-century literary culture of anonymity and guessing games. Universal Images Group/Getty Images

How I identified a probable pen name of Louisa May Alcott

By disguising her name, Alcott could publish in less prestigious venues without worrying about tarnishing her literary reputation.

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