Novelist Kent Haruf chased writing in his youth, but it wasn't until he was 40 that he'd developed his skills enough to be published. He's best known for National Book Award finalist "Plainsong."
In his new book All Eyes Are Upon Us, Jason Sokol writes about how Northerners were blind to patterns of segregation, discrimination and racial violence in such states as New York and Massachusetts.
The best-selling author died Thursday. She was 94. In 1987, James told Terry Gross that while the "shock of finding the bodies is important" in her novels, she personally doesn't like "messy lives."
"His historical context, unlike my own, came from a place of ignorance," writes the National Book Award-winning Woodson, responding to racially charged comments delivered after she won her prize.
Austen Ivereigh, author of a new biography of Pope Francis, says the media have misjudged the Pope's comments on abortion and homosexuality — but that Francis is a radical in other respects.
Poet laureate Mark Strand has died at age 80. He spurned conventional form and wrote spare and haunting prose, which won him the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1999.
NYRB Classics has just reissued Tristana, an 1892 novel by the great Spanish author Benito Pérez Galdós. Critic Juan Vidal says Tristana's intelligence and emotional richness is comparable to Dickens.
John Byrne Cooke was Janis Joplin's road manager from 1967 until her untimely death in 1970. So he saw a lot of rock history up close — and describes some of the details in a new memoir.
The Canadian-born poet was known for his wit and introspection. He also won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and Yale University's Bollingen Prize.
For decades, a rare collection of human remains sat in a basement closet at the University of Texas. A new book tells the story of that collection — and the enduring mysteries that surround it.
Andrew Lawler's Why Did the Chicken Cross the World? explores the secret to the domesticated bird's success: "You can turn the chicken into almost anything," he says, from religious symbol to dinner.
This week, a Missouri grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson, the officer who killed Michael Brown. Writer Syreeta McFadden turns to Audre Lorde's poetry to make sense of this decision.
A remembrance of murder mystery writer PD James, who died Thursday at her home in Oxford, England.
The British author of best-selling detective stories has died at age 94. "In a sense, the detective story is a small celebration of reason and order in our very disorderly world," she told NPR.
The author of such books as The Black Tower was best-known for her series featuring Scotland Yard detective Adam Dalgliesh.
Even as public schools in the area closed amid protests, the Ferguson Public Library stayed open for local students and readers. Onlookers have responded with an outpouring of donations.
Cold dark winter nights are the perfect time to dip into Gemma Files' chilling new story collection, We Will All Go Down Together. Critic Jason Heller praises Files' "ghostly, magical storytelling."
Years after her grandfather's death, Sarah Wildman discovered letters from a young woman he'd left behind in Vienna in the 1930s. So Wildman set out to find her grandfather's true love.
An estimated 46 million Americans will take to the road this Thanksgiving. We survey some of the best recorded comedy and audiobooks so you can laugh away the tension if you're stuck in traffic.
Phil Klay served in Iraq from January 2007 to February 2008. He recently won a National Book Award for his collection of short stories.