Rachel Donohue’s novel is The Temple House Vanishing, a gothic page-turner set in an all-girls Catholic boarding school in Ireland. … I have an enduring fascination with ruined buildings, a consequence perhaps of too many afternoons spent reading ghost stories and mystery books. A locked gate, an overgrown driveway, some shuttered windows—they were all childhoodContinue reading

Layla AlAmmar is the author of Silence Is a Sense, a complex and fluid novel about memory, revolution, loss, and safety. … In early 2011, I—like countless others across not just the region but the world—watched as sparks of protest ignited into the flame of the Arab Spring. When I use the words sparks, ignited, andContinue reading

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