books channel header art

Books

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.

Where Is the Black Blueberries for Sal?

A lot of beloved storybook characters scavenge food in the wild, go on bear hunts, and otherwise explore the natural world, and almost all of them are white.

The Books Briefing: Sympathy for the Devil

Your weekly guide to the best in books

Game of Thrones Is Over. Now What About the Books?

George R. R. Martin insists that the final entries in his fantasy series are still coming—even though HBO has finished telling his story first.

Elizabeth Acevedo’s Work Is a Welcome Rarity in Young-Adult Fiction

The National Book Award–winning author writes complex teenage protagonists whose real-life counterparts have long faced literary erasure.

John Okada’s No-No Boy Is a Test of American Character

The re-release of a classic novel about Japanese Americans’ incarceration during World War II is an opportunity to reflect on the nation’s persistent internal conflicts.