Feminize Your Canon: Alice Dunbar-Nelson

In April 1895, the up-and-coming poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, whom Frederick Douglass had dubbed “the most promising young colored man in America,” saw a poem by a young writer, Alice Ruth Moore, accompanied by a photograph in which she appeared stylish and beautiful. He wrote to her immediately at her home on Palmyra Street in New Orleans, expressing his admiration, and they began an intense epistolary courtship that lasted two years. The Dunbars embodied the aspirational ideal of the educated, cultured African American, allowed access to the white halls of fame and power as long as they were willing to remain, flattened and fixed, in the roles of representatives of their race.

Jenny Offill: ‘I no longer felt like it wasn’t my fight’

It’s early January and freezing cold in New York when I meet Jenny Offill to talk about her new novel, Weather – an innocuous title for something that feels less innocuous every day. A couple of weeks earlier, the temperature was warm and spring-like. These fluctuations in the weather, and the warming trends they reveal, are increasingly unsettling reminders of the climate crisis, and they form the backbone of Offill’s latest novel, the follow-up to 2014’s bestselling Dept. of Speculation.

What This Journalist Learned About Female Desire by Following Ordinary Women

The description of Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women makes it sound like literary fiction aimed firmly at female readers: a lyrical, intimate exploration of the emotional and sexual lives of ordinary women. But Taddeo isn’t inventing her characters’ stories. They’re the result of a decade of immersive journalism, research and countless interviews in pursuit of what she calls “longing in America.”