Guest Essays
Anne rice author photo_gray_scaled

Anne Rice Exclusive: "How Times Have Changed"

Anne Rice was miles ahead of the erotica and adult fairy-tale trend when she wrote her Sleeping Beauty Trilogy in the 1980s. Here, Rice speaks about the current golden age of literary erotica that inspired her dramatic new novel, Beauty's Kingdom.

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Gessner-jacket

Cactus Ed and the Hippie-Hater: An Illustrated Tale of Two Haircuts

Can you judge a book by its cover? All the Wild That Remains author David Gessner contrasts two icons of Western literature--Edward Abbey and Wallace Stegner--starting at the top with the most conspicuous, if superficial, difference: their chosen hairstyles.

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The Light of the World

Art Fixes Life in Time: Elizabeth Alexander on "The Light of the World"

Elizabeth Alexander, an acclaimed poet perhaps best known for the poem she delivered at Barack Obama’s first inauguration, grieves the loss of her beloved husband in the earthy and elegiac, The Light of the World...

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Made in Detroit

Marge Piercy: "Your Life Is Richer with Poetry"

I was a fan of poetry in theory until I fell in love for the first time--experiencing emotions I couldn't explain, and grasping for ways to understand and express them. It was then that I was introduced to Marge Piercy's work, and that gave me something to grasp onto...

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Barcott_white2

Notes from the Legal Pot Underground

What happens when weed-skeptical journalist Bruce Barcott investigates the growers, sellers, and users of the brave new world of legalized marijuana? He emerges with changed opinions, a good book, and a bunch of really strange souvenirs.

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Packer

Ann Packer: How I Wrote "The Children's Crusade"

Ann Packer's The Children's Crusade was one of our selections for the Best Books of April. Here, she describes just how the book came to be....

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Unabrow

"Self-Consciousness Can Be Crippling"...and Funny: Una LaMarche on "Unabrow"

I recently heard a talk given by vulnerability and shame expert, Brené Brown--to be vulnerable is to also be courageous, she said, something that Una LaMarche--author of Unabrow--would be comforted to know (not to mention the rest of us)...

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Epitaph

American Iliad: 30 Seconds in Tombstone

What really happened in Tombstone, Arizona on the fateful afternoon of October 26, 1881? Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral author Mary Doria Russell debunks five common myths, misconceptions, and misrepresentations of the iconic gunfight of the Wild West.

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Hausfrau

There's Good Reason to Love Bad Women

Book hangover. Readers, you know what I'm referring to. The condition where you read something so good that you have trouble getting into anything else for a while, and even when you do, you're comparing it to 'that book.' I am still experiencing this a couple months after reading...

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ExplainWorld

Observation in Retrograde: Tracing the Origins of Modern Science

Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg’s To Explain the World thoughtfully guides readers through the history of scientific process, with its centuries of trial and error, dead ends and successes, and, above all, the perseverance and curiosity that has shaped the ways that we observe and understand the world around us.

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