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Blog Posts by Subject: English and American Literature

Romantic Interests: Digital Middlemarch in Parts

A discussion with Dr. Simon Reader, a professor at CUNY Staten Island, about Middlemarch, and the implications of this first edition appearing in digital format.Read More ›

Exploring the Literary Within the Black Power Movement

When we explore the dynamics of the Black Power Movement, we must not fail to explore the Black Arts Movement as well. It was the artistic voice that helped increase political activism and express the importance of cultural values through various art forms. Read More ›

Countee Cullen Remembered With Exhibits and Celebration

Celebrate Countee Cullen’s birthday on Tuesday, May 31 at the Countee Cullen Library and the Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division of the Schomburg Center.Read More ›

Before It Was Mrs. Dalloway... Novels That Came From Short Stories

Mrs. Dalloway is not the only novel to begin its life as a short story. With the New York Public Library's extensive collection of online newspapers, magazines, and journals, you can read many of these published short stories at home and compare them to their later, expanded versions—all you need is your library card. Read More ›

A Melville Marginalia Mystery

A researcher's reading of erased marginalia provides insight to Melville's thoughts on religion.Read More ›

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 ›
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