Louis Bayard is not the first to write about Abraham Lincoln, but Courting Mr. Lincoln is nowhere near old-hat. Read his essay explaining the gap in Lincoln literature his new novel aims to fill. • • • According to the Library of Congress catalog, 9,100 books have been published on the subject of Abraham Lincoln.Continue reading

In In the Time of the Butterflies, Julia Alvarez deals not only with the lives and deaths of four sisters, but the political oppression that surrounds them in the Dominican Republic. In this note, Alvarez describes the role of politics in writing and that of storytelling in the world as we know it. • •Continue reading

Mathangi Subramanian, the author of  A People’s History of Heaven, shares this essay about the women she met while working in a Bangalore slum — the women who inspired her new novel. • • • IN THE SPRING OF 2013, I found myself in the middle of a bustling Bangalore slum, trying to get myContinue reading

Bestselling author Tim Johnston has done it again with his upcoming novel, The Current, centered around a shocking murder and its continued impact on the small Minnesota town where it occurred. In addition to this tour de force novel, Johnston wrote an entertaining essay on the subject of childhood guilt and innocence, which you canContinue reading

Heather Rose, author of the new novel The Museum of Modern Love, shares this essay about the process of writing her award-winning book. • • • The Museum of Modern Love took me eleven years to write. It started back in 2005, when there was a Dutch Masters exhibition in Melbourne, Australia. After taking inContinue reading

Heather Abel, author of The Optimistic Decade—now in paperback—shares this essay about how she came to write her debut novel. • • • “Class of ’36, I guess we did something wrong.” I was in college when I first read that sentence, and its author—my grandmother—had just died. She’d been charismatic and uncompromising, equally criticalContinue reading