Musician and poet Patti Smith: ‘always evolving’.
Old women remain the butt of jokes; they are some of society’s most marginalised people. But age also invites us to become our most authentic selves, writes Carol Lefevre.
Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham in a 2012 adaptation of Great Expectations.
It is one of Dickens’ best loved novels and an exposé of the class system, but the book’s depiction of women has proved divisive.
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This brainy feminist romp of a novel, loved by Rachel Cusk and Maria Semple, is often compared to Brideshead Revisited. But Carol Lefevre says it’s more like a sexy, sweary version of Nancy Mitford in 1960s London.
The Congo Basin’s rainforests in central Africa are sometimes called Earth’s second lungs (after the Amazon) because of its ability to store carbon.
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Literary texts are useful for environmental communication and can deal with the complexity of climate change.
National Portrait Gallery
Marrying the husband of your deceased sister was legally considered incest, leaving women of all classes in ruinous circumstances.
Gaia Girace and Margherita Mazzucco in the television adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s novel My Brilliant Friend (2018)
In her new essay collection, Elena Ferrante tells the compelling story of her reading and writing life, and the battle between form and wildness.
Douglas Stuart. Photo: Clive Smith.
The author of Shuggie Bain returns to the public housing schemes of 1980s working-class Glasgow to explore the redemptive power of secure love and the dangers of violent, dominating masculinity.
Why don’t chimpanzees rule the world? Is storytelling - the mysterious glue that enables millions of humans to cooperate effectively - the answer?
The unique power of story is like a sharp knife, writes Claire Corbett. It is neither good nor evil, but can cut both ways.
A statue of Russian writer Leo Tolstoy in Moscow.
Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP via Getty Images
If Dostoevsky insists that one cannot shy away from horror and tragedy, Tolstoy would contend that people must act upon what they see.
St Andrew’s Church, Kyiv, Ukraine.
Straight from our experts, here are five books to help you understand what’s happening right now in Ukraine and Russia, from a must-read history of Ukraine to a literary classic with insights into the Russian soul.
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A mermaid with face of a monkey and body of fish has reignited interest in the Japanese ningyo
The death of Jacob Frank.
The Nobel Laureate’s new experimental epic is a masterful account of the life of a self-proclaimed Messiah.
Statue commemorating coal mining in Teversal, Nottinghamshire in the East Midlands.
Coal-mining communities are disappearing in the UK so it’s more important than ever to authentically document their way of life.
A Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces member hugs a resident leaving his hometown following Russian artillery shelling in Irpin on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, March 9, 2022.
AP Photo/Oleksandr Ratushniak
Classic literature is full of themes that speak to refugees’ experience today, from the Book of Exodus to ‘The Grapes of Wrath.’
Australian author Tara June Winch.
Courtesy Penguin Random House
For nine years, The Stella Count has tracked the gender of authors reviewed in key Australian publications. The bias once firmly favoured men. But things have changed.
Ama Ata Aidoo.
Ama Ata Aidoo recognises the differences between humans and the existence of a history in which some humans are dehumanised.
Charles Chesnutt was one of the first widely read Black fiction writers in the U.S.
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Black writers like Charles Chesnutt had to contend with a dilemma writers today know all too well: give the audience and editors what they want, or wallow in obscurity.
If characters on TV consumed less, research has found it can have an impact on the environmental behaviour of audiences
In a 1949 photograph, Mori works in his family’s nursery in San Leandro, Calif.
Courtesy of Steven Y. Mori
On Dec. 2, 1941, a publication date was set for Mori’s first book. Five days later, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, upending the writer’s life and throwing the book’s publication into doubt.
A book that defies the usual mystery formula, Death on the Nile is more than just a clever tale about murder.