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Books

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Why Singin’ in the Rain Is an Almost Perfect Musical

The 1952 film exemplifies the key elements of a beloved Hollywood genre.

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Celina Pereira

Jefferson’s Doomed Educational Experiment

The University of Virginia was supposed to transform a slave-owning generation, but it failed.

New York Public Library

The Books Briefing: How to Build a Family Legacy

Tracking how we got from there to here: Your weekly guide to the best in books

Margaret Atwood Bears Witness

Over the course of her writing career, she has explored the power and limits of personal testimony in times of crisis.

The 19th-Century Feminist Novel Pushed Out of the Russian Canon

Karolina Pavlova’s A Double Life examines internalized oppression—and insists on the independence of the unconscious mind.

The Call Me by Your Name Dream Continues

The follow-up to a beloved novel of gay romance continues André Aciman’s exploration of desire that tests convention: “It’s not a subject that has ever interested me, ethics,” the author says.

The Books Briefing: Let’s Talk About Death

Putting mortality in perspective: Your weekly guide to the best in books

How Solitude Feeds the Brain

The novelist Jami Attenberg shares a poem that helped her understand her own relationship to isolation.

The Chaotic Elegance of Flea

In his new memoir, Acid for the Children, the Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist exhibits virtuosic vulnerability.

A Simplistic View of a Mixed-ish America

ABC’s Black-ish spin-off joins a new memoir by Thomas Chatterton Williams in presenting a seemingly enlightened but ahistorical view of race.

John le Carré’s Scathing Tale of Brexit Britain

In Agent Running in the Field, the celebrated spy novelist takes on a chaotic international landscape.

The Books Briefing: Costume Party

Witches and werewolves and clowns, oh my! Your weekly guide to the best in books.

The Ongoing Horror of #MeToo

She Said, Catch and Kill, and other new books tell stories of monsters brought to account. But their defining mood is not exultation—it’s terror.

The Books Briefing: Trapped in a World That Uber Built

The seeds that could grow into the dystopias of tomorrow are being planted right now. Your weekly guide to the best in books.

Dame Julie Andrews at the 76th Venice Film Festival in 2019 in Venice, Italy

The Charming Candor of Julie Andrews’s New Memoir

In Home Work, the legendary actor comes to terms with an acting career she couldn’t always control.

Thomas Edison’s Greatest Invention

It wasn’t the light bulb or the phonograph or the moving picture—or anything tangible. It was a way of thinking about technology.

Illustration of three people in blue, purple, pink

Ways of Being

Three new books explore the variety of transgender experiences.

Debbie Harry Stares Back

The Blondie singer’s memoir, Face It, wryly recounts making the most of being ogled.

The Books Briefing: The Revolution Will Be Written About

“Show me what democracy looks like.” Your weekly guide to the best in books.