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Blog Posts by Subject: English and American Literature

Learn English With Shakespeare: Free Websites and Books for English Language Learners

Shakespeare’s language can be a challenge for fluent English speakers. If you’re an English language learner, you might think that Shakespeare is not for for you, but there are many different ways you can learn about his work, his life, and his language and improve your English skills. Read More ›

Shakespearean Characters We Love to Hate

Paying homage to the Bard’s most loathsome characters: his villains, schemers, whiners, and all-around bad actors.Read More ›

James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket

Novelist, essayist, playwright, activist, son, brother, friend, lover, man, human, Black. There are many words of which to describe a person, but never enough to describe James Baldwin.Read More ›

Falstaff On the Road: Or, Why Dickens Was Right About America

Two prime examples of actors and actor/managers who based their later careers on performing Sir John Falstaff.Read More ›

30 Days of Shakespeare

We asked thirty staff members to select and read their favorite Shakespeare speech, monologue, or sonnet. We will release one each day throughout the month of April.Read More ›

What Are You Reading? Colum McCann Edition

Colum McCann visited the library as part of our staff-wide read, so I caught up with him to see if he had other reading recommendations.Read More ›

Favorite Flannery O'Connor Quotes

Wise, funny, sad, and hopeful, here are some of our favorite Flannery O'Connor quotes.Read More ›

Book Notes From The Underground: An Open Letter To Philip Roth

Who am I to begrudge a person wanting to take it easy in the golden years of his or her life? You should do whatever it is that will make you happy, even if it means that your fans will no longer have a new Philip Roth novel to read every year.Read More ›

Podcast #103: Darryl Pinckney and Zadie Smith on Achievement and Beyoncé

Darryl Pinckney is a Whiting Award winner, a former Cullman Fellow, and a longtime contributor to the New York Review of Books. He visited the New York Public Library for a Conversation at the Cullman Center co-sponsored by the NYRB to discuss his book Black Deutschland with Zadie Smith.Read More ›

Why You Should Read Invisible Man

On March 1, 1914 Ralph Ellison was born. Today, we celebrate the author by reading his masterpiece Invisible Man. Here is why you should too.Read More ›

Librarians on ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’

Personal reflections on Harper Lee's first (and until now, only) novel.Read More ›

Who's the King of Ohio?

Stephen King asked Twitter to come up with great novels about Ohio, and we rose to the challenge.Read More ›

A Trivial Blog Post for Serious People

An unassuming black notebook contains the earliest draft of Oscar Wilde’s play The Importance of Being Earnest, written by hand and with the author’s frequent emendations.Read More ›

Live from the Reading Room: Arturo Schomburg to Langston Hughes

Today’s letter features correspondence between Arturo Alfonso Schomburg and Langston Hughes. In the excerpt below, Schomburg speaks with Hughes regarding acquisitions for The Division of Negro Literature, History and Prints—the forerunner to today’s Schomburg Center.Read More ›

Essential James Joyce Reads

To read James Joyce is to encounter a radical idiom in service of indiscriminate observation.Read More ›

Tabrizia's Favorite Books of 2015

Books that made one librarian fall in love with reading all over again this year.Read More ›

'Clueless' Translated from Valley Girl to 19th Century English

To commemorate Emma and one of our favorite book-to-film retellings, we're matching moments from Clueless to their counterparts in Jane Austen's novel, translating from valley girl to nineteenth century English. Why? Because, as Cher would say, "Duh, it's like a famous quote!"Read More ›

Podcast #41: Neil Gaiman Reads "A Christmas Carol"

Neil Gaiman reads from the only surviving "prompt" copy of the book, that is, Dickens's own annotated version used for live readings.Read More ›

Discussing 'To Kill a Mockingbird' to Learn and Live a Language

The students meet to see how much they understood in the pages they read at home, and they meet because they love to share their ideas with each other.Read More ›

What are you Reading: Carlos Alazraqui

Find out what the Rocko's Modern Life and Reno 911 star likes to read.Read More ›
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