Naomi Watts as Babe Paley and Tom Hollander as Truman Capote in Feud: Capote vs the Swans.
The new TV series, Feud: Capote vs the Swans tells the story behind Answered Prayers, the never-finished gossip novel that made its author a social pariah. But what was in the book – and was it any good?
What does capitalism do to our ability to connect with other people? Lydia Davis’ stories suggest it hollows out our words – but that the exaltation of the ordinary can connect us.
Dante’s Inferno – Joseph Anton Koch, detail from Cassa Massimo fresco (c.1825).
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Let Us Descend is concerned with the neglected lives of the the poor, the despised, the dark, those barely scraping a living, but cannot capture the collective experience of slavery.
Characters in books can teach lessons about addiction.
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This course beckons students to examine how alcoholic beverages are portrayed in books by American authors.
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Crook Manifesto confounds expectations only insofar as it is unprecedented for Colson Whitehead to repeat himself.
Derek Shapton/Knopf, AP
Cormac McCarthy, who has died aged 89, was a major American writer with a distinctive voice. In McCarthy’s world, war and violence are primordial realities.
Last Judgement – Michelangelo (c.1541): the image used for the cover of Harold Bloom’s The Western Canon.
Four years after his death, Harold Bloom continues to loom large over American literature, but his signature work has been less influential in the field of literary studies.
In her latest novel, Emma Cline depicts a world of unthinking privilege.
The outrage misdirected at Lolita – and its author – does nothing to negate the realities it reflects. Reading Nabokov’s novel now raises questions about censorship, book banning and human nature.
Jean Toomer’s novel is a visionary masterpiece and one of the most influential works of African American modernism.
Stories about witches are having a resurgence.
These new witches are rarely comparable to traditional dirty hags. The new witch is often beautiful, at once dark, gothic, ethereal and wild.
Short-circuiting the language of literary value, permanently wrongfooting the custodians of taste, Gravity’s Rainbow proposes a new way of thinking about what we treasure most.
Bringing colour and emotional depth, Baunbach’s adaptation is a good companion to DeLillo’s searing novel.
At nearly 90 years of age, Cormac McCarthy is striking out in new artistic directions.
Battle of the Big Horn (1889).
George Saunders has described short stories as ‘thrill-producing machines’, but his latest collection is hit and miss.
The Triumph of Death - Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c.1592).
The Gothic horrorshow of Ottessa Moshfegh’s latest novel has sharply divided critical opinion.
Thoreau thought commerce destroyed moral freedom. A true “economy”, he argued, would lead to ecological and social flourishing for humans and for all beings.
In her latest book, the Pulitzer Prize winning author suggests how the 21st century novel might renew itself.
‘Moby-Dick’ inspired the Warner Brothers film starring Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab – and perhaps can inspire readers today amid the climate crisis.
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Melville’s epic novel about life aboard a wayward whaling ship holds lessons for the climate crisis today.
Harriet Jacobs, writer of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.
The problems and ideologies that define American culture were formed in the 19th century.