Jul 22, 2014 — Most of us, when we think of Victorian London, think of the work of Charles Dickens. Historian Judith Flanders' uses Dickens' words to paint a vivid portrait of a vibrant but troubled city.
Aug 13, 2011 — Sometimes, when walking Brooklyn's streets, it doesn't feel as if its literary past is haunting. Rather, its literary soul is still alive and pulsating. Brooklyn is a world unto itself and a writer's enclave. Journalist and critic Evan Hughes has written a literary biography of the leafy borough.
Aug 13, 2011 — NPR coverage of Literary Brooklyn: The Writers of Brooklyn and the Story of American City Life by Evan Hughes. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.
Jul 24, 2010 — Will Grozier, who drives a taxi in London, is no ordinary cabbie. NPR's Scott Simon calls him "the best-read man that I have ever encountered in my life" — which is why NPR occasionally calls Grozier up for reading recommendations. Here are Grozier's latest picks, five books that are equally suitable for diving into on the beach or sampling on a short taxi ride.
Jul 1, 2010 — A new biography tells the story of Buck's Chinese childhood, as the daughter of zealous missionaries. In Pearl Buck in China, Hilary Spurling makes a compelling case for a reappraisal of Buck's fiction — transforming her from dreary "lady author" into woman warrior.
Dec 30, 2009 — During his lifetime, South African poet Dennis Brutus made incredible contributions to the fight against apartheid. Brutus died on December 26, 2009, after successfully battling segregation in athletics with global recognition. Fresh Air remembers the life and achievements of Brutus in this interview from 1986.
Jun 4, 2009 — What do Judge Sonia Sotomayor and Sen. Jeff Sessions have in common? They've both publicly declared their love for Nancy Drew. Commentator Caroline Reitz cites the fictional character's simple, morally unambiguous world as the reason for the attraction.
Nov 6, 2008 — From The Federalist Papers to The Feminine Mystique, Jay Parini's Promised Land examines 13 books that shaped and changed America. Maureen Corrigan has a review.