Literature

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"Laughter is the human condition much more than sorrow and tears and suffering. Even at the worst possible time of your life, people are funny. And that's what gives you hope." -- Luis Alberto Urrea Luis Urrea is just one of the newest members of our Big Read family. Visit the NEA...
A little over ten years ago, in September of 2003, Jhumpa Lahiri's debut novel, The Namesake, entered the world. A poignant novel and new Big Read selection, The Namesake further explores themes Lahiri has mined throughout her writing career; identity, self-acceptance, and the trials and...
With the incredibly amazing NEA National Heritage Fellowships Concert happening TONIGHT! , we wanted to highlight a 2013 Heritage Fellow whose music makes a cameo on the new Big Read audio guide for Luis Alberto Urrea’s fantastic novel, Into the Beautiful North . Selecting the music, as...
Video of Julia Alvarez - 2009 National Book Festival "Nothing human is alien to the pen of a novelist. And when we read, nothing human is alien to us either." —Julia Alvarez, speaking at the 2009 National Book Festival Love literature? See which authors will be speaking this weekend...
“I don’t think any poetry is written that isn’t primarily written to the self, in a way… I’m always talking to myself. But I seem to want somebody else to listen to it. I need, I do want an audience. So it’s a strange thing. It’s a very private...
Listing all of Ernest Gaines’s achievements would likely take up an entire paragraph or five. There’s been a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA Fellowship, a National Book Critics Circle Award, and critically acclaimed books such as The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman , A Gathering of Old...
When Kenn Nesbitt found out he would be the new Children’s Poet Laureate , he said he was “floored.” We’re not sure why. After all, the poet has published over a dozen books and collections of poetry and has endeared himself to kids across the country with his instinctual...
By this time, I’m sure all of you have ooohd and aaahed over the stellar lineup at this year’s Poetry and Prose Pavilion at the National Book Festival . I know, I know—we’re impressed with it too. As you’ve studied the authors’ bios, you may have noticed a...
Just in case you haven’t heard the news, we added three new exciting novels to the Big Read canon: Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea; The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri; and True Grit by Charles Portis. Throughout the year, we’ll be showcasing excerpts of audio that never made...
"Nothing is beneath poetic notice---that's why nothing is too big for it."---Heather McHugh Inventive, provocative, and playful are just a few of the adjectives you might apply to Heather McHugh's poetry. The recipient of two NEA Literature Fellowships (1974 and 1982), McHugh has...

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