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Blog Posts by Subject: English and American Literature

Bloomsday in the Berg Collection

James Joyce's Ulysses is a novel unique in the history of English literature, perhaps all literature, in that it has a day dedicated to its celebration all over the world. The day is named for Leopold Bloom, one of the novel's three chief characters.Read More ›

Picturing Walt Whitman

The life and work of Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819 - March 26, 1892) are prodigiously documented in the Oscar Lion Collection, held in the New York Public Library's Rare Books Division. Read More ›

Three Reads: Bad Guys of Gilded Age New York

Here are three books about some of our fine city's bad guys, lying, cheating, and stealing their way through the 1890s.Read More ›

The Reader's Den: Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find"

Flannery O'Connor's short story, "A Good Man is Hard to Find," originally published in the 1955 collection of the same name, has all the classic O'Connor elements: humor, irony, tragedy, and evil. It starts off innocently enough: a grandmother sets off on a road trip with her son, Bailey, and his family: a wife, two kids, and a baby.Read More ›

Story Time for Grown-Ups: "The Lady or the Tiger?" by Frank R. Stockton

Listen to librarian Lois Moore read the short story aloud.Read More ›

Story Time for Grown-Ups: "The Story of An Hour" by Kate Chopin

Listen to librarian Lois Moore read the short story aloud.Read More ›

The Reader's Den: Flannery O'Connor's "The Life You Save May Be Your Own"

Flannery O'Connor's "The Life You Save May Be Your Own" was originally published in the 1955 short story collection, A Good Man is Hard to Find. Like many of her short stories, it centers around the appearance of a stranger on the horizon, (literally, in this case!) and that stranger's effect on the lives of others.Read More ›

Lorraine Hansberry: Dreamer Supreme

The Lorraine Hansberry Collection at the Schomburg Center For Research In Black Culture is a remarkably thorough record of family, personal, and professional papers, letters, manuscripts and photographs documenting her entire life as an artist and activist.Read More ›

The Jefferson Market University: Spring 2014

The Jefferson Market Library is pleased to offer the following free courses for the spring semester, 2014.Read More ›

Zora Neale Hurston and the Depression-Era Federal Writers' Project

In 1933, the US government established the first of many New Deal projects and initiatives. Four years later, in September 1937, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston was published in New York. The connection between the two? While many readers know of the novel's seminal status (it has been one of the most lauded—and

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Reading Trollope on My iPhone: Confessions of a Midlife eBook Convert

Do you feel that e-books are just not right for you? Download one and you might be surprised. I was...

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December Author @ the Library Programs and More at Mid-Manhattan

Have you ever wondered what happens when a ghetto is unmade? Or what the future of Saudi Arabia means to the rest of the world? Or how overachievers do it? Do you think you know what real New Yorkers look like? Do you want to believe that

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Edith Wharton, A Writing Life: Marriage

In a writer's life, nothing is ever wasted. Every wrinkle in the fabric of experience can be transformed into fictional material. Although there is nothing directly autobiographical in the novels and stories of American novelist Edith Wharton (born Edith Jones), they reflect very distinctly both the shape of her life and the movements of her thought. In my previous post about her childhood, I left off with an unresolved question, one which would have been deeply troubling to Lucretia Jones, Edith's 

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Banned Books Week: Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller

Likely one of the most frequently censored books in the history of American literature, Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller is a lascivious romp involving Miller's expatriate exploits among the world of writers and artists in early 1930s Paris. The book was first published in Paris in 1934 by Obelisk Press, publishers of books that were considered controversial in England and the US, such as Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness. Prior to 1961, Tropic of Cancer was 

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Fight for Your Right to Read: Banned Books Week 2013

From 2000 to 2009, 8 out of the top 10 books on "The Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books" were specifically written for teens or children. In fact out of that list of 100, 67 were books for teens or children. Titles such as the Harry Potter series (#1), the

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Classroom Connections: Lists for Lesson Planning (Gr. 6-12)

Aguilar Library, 1938 - Librarian w/ students. Want to know more about our current educational initiatives? See The ABC of Education: Why Libraries Matter by Maggie Jacobs, Director of Educational ProgramsWe have just shuttered the doors on our first Education Innovation @ NYPL Summer Institute. During this three week Institute, master teachers from NYC (and further afar) met curators from our Research 

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The Wonder Years: Music and References from Season One

What would you do if I sang out of tune? Would you stand up and walk out on me?

I don't know about you, but certain songs are for me forever associated with certain movies and television shows.

What do you think of when you hear Roy Orbison's "In Dreams"? How about when you hear Stealers Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle With 

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Meet the Scholar: Nerina Rustomji

Nerina Rustomji and her book, "The Garden and the Fire: Heaven and Hell in Islamic Culture."About 6 years ago, I was taking an undergraduate class on the history of the Modern Middle East taught by Professor Nerina Rustomji of St. John's University. The class opened my eyes to the complexity of the region. She challenged us to look differently at the historic and ongoing conflicts in the area and America's intricate relationships with Middle Eastern countries before September 11th. 

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Confessions of an Anglophile

I get asked a lot about my Union Jack tattoo. Mainly, "why?" My answer? "Why not? I just like all things British and Scottish, okay? Geesh. Leave me alone!" But the real answer is bit more complicated. Those stories, those places just always captured my imagination. Growing up in Northern Idaho anyplace outside of my corner of North America was exotic in my book. Or perhaps I should just give the simplest answer, which is, "I blame my parents."

kucinski on flickrMy father was 

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Book Discussion at Epiphany: "Caleb's Crossing" by Geraldine Brooks

The month of May found the Epiphany Book Club tackling a writer beloved by its members. Geraldine Brooks has written several novels, the book club previously read People of the Book. This time around we read her most recent work Caleb's Crossing. Like all of her stories this one is a historical tale which uses a real 

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