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New York Public Library

The Books Briefing: Books From Our Fathers

Your weekly guide to the best in books

Hokyoung Kim

What Lies Beneath

Burrow far below the planet’s surface, and even there, humanity has left its imprint.

Mariner Books

Inside the Head of an Aging Serial Killer

A new story collection from Kim Young-ha complicates the trope of the relatable murderer and, in the process, puts the reader in a quandary.

Stories That Ask Whether Humans and Nature Were Always Incompatible

Karen Russell’s latest collection meditates on anxieties about mankind’s place in the world.

Shakespeare and Company

Elizabeth Winkler’s inquiry into Emilia Bassano’s possible role in the creation of Shakespeare’s work has prompted interest, enthusiasm, and dissent. Five responses expand the discussion.

Shakespeare Didn’t Write Alone

In step with the professional customs of his time, the bard collaborated with other playwrights throughout his career.

The Hidden Women Writers of the Elizabethan Theater

In Shakespeare’s time, women were actively engaged in the theater business—and their roles may well have extended to writing plays.

Shakespeare Wrote Insightfully About Women. That Doesn’t Mean He Was One.

To speculate about the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays is to pursue conspiracy theories—and in this case, to obscure a sea change in how directors, actors, and audiences understand his depiction of women.

Keep Questioning Shakespeare’s Identity

Debating the authorship of the bard’s plays can only expand appreciation for his work, a Shakespearean actor writes.

The Logical Gymnastics of Shakespeare Biography

The lack of information about the playwright’s private life makes it hard to dispute or even describe his identity. But people keep trying anyway.

A Novel That Weighs the Costs of Love and Motherhood

In Patsy, Nicole Dennis-Benn wrestles with the conflicting demands of family and autonomy for an undocumented woman in New York City.

The Adults Who Treat Reading Like Homework

No one’s making them try to read 100 books a year.

R. Kelly Wants Power, Not ‘Help’

Soulless, a new book from the journalist Jim DeRogatis about the singer’s alleged sex crimes, further challenges the facade of Kelly’s despondence.

Going Home With Ocean Vuong

He’s best known as an award-winning young poet, and he’s now getting attention for his novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. But I first knew him as a talented writer a couple of years ahead of me in high school.

The Books Briefing: Prison Sentences

Your weekly guide to the best in books

A young girl studies a chess board intently.

The Case Against Grit

David Epstein’s new book, Range, argues that starting a specialized path early and doggedly sticking to it may not be as rewarding as trying a variety of things and quitting the unfulfilling ones.

The Philosophy Behind the First American Dictionary

In 1789, Noah Webster called on the newly independent United States to claim its own national version of the English language.