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Literature

Toni Morrison Delivers the First of Her 2016 Norton Lectures
College

Ruminating on Race, Toni Morrison Gives First Norton Lecture

Nobel prize-winning author Toni Morrison captivated a packed Sanders Theater with her first lecture as the 2016 Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry Wednesday evening, discussing race and racism, rape, and migration through a series of personal anecdotes and literary selections.

Tea Party
Food and Drink

A Readable Feast

The Harvard English Department shares their favorite succulent meals in literature.

Colm in Conversation
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Colm in Conversation

Novelist Colm Tóibín in conversation with Senior Lecturer on Fiction Claire Messud as part of the ‘Writers Speak’ series.

Humanities for Hire
College

The Humanities at Work

The universe of higher education often bemoans a "crisis" in the humanities, with supposedly dwindling numbers and few job prospects. At Harvard, humanities concentrators face a crisis of choice, attempting to balance their passions with factors like stability and employment. For Harvard graduates, the question is not so much whether you’ll get a job with a humanities degree—it’s where.

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15 Questions: Claire Messud

Claire Messud is the newest addition to Harvard’s creative writing faculty, and an acclaimed novelist, speaker, and lecturer. Her novel, The Emperor’s Children, was a New York Times bestseller. In 2002, she was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts. She lives in Somerville with her husband, fellow Harvard English Professor James Wood. She leads two fiction workshops.

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Ferrante's Fourth Dazzles

The novel’s wild intensity derives just as much from its language as from its thematic content. Long, furious sentences constantly modify and double back on themselves, occasionally breaking into lush, lyrical interludes.

FAS

Svetlana Boym, Professor Whose Work ‘Transformed,’ Dies at 56

Colleagues remember the late Slavic and Comparative Literature professor as an avid writer and artist whose work was known around the world for its transformative power.

Collaborative Poetry
English

Collaborative Poetry

Matthew Battles talks about similarities in poetic style between works of different epochs as part of "re-verse: A Participatory Evening of Poetry." The event engaged with the metaLAB @ Harvard, an interdisciplinary teaching unit, and was part of the week-long Harvard LITFest.

"My Struggle: Book Four"
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"My Struggle: Book Four"

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'My Struggle' Doesn't Struggle to Succeed

In “Book Four,” Knausgaard peels backs the curtains on his early years and brings forth a brutally honest story that remains hard to tear away from despite being incredibly mundane.

"The Last Flight of Poxl West."
Books

"The Last Flight of Poxl West."

Books

Lydia Davis at the Harvard Book Store

“If there is any narrative in it at all, if there’s a little tiny scrap of narrative, if there’s an I, if there’s a thought, if there’s a ladybug doing something...then I think it is justified to call it a story,” she said.

"Lydia Davis Courtesy Photo"
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"Lydia Davis Courtesy Photo"

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'God Help the Child' a Mature Morrison Child

The novel does not seem like a bid at another Nobel Prize-winning masterpiece. Short, plot-driven, and more colloquial than complexly poetic, the book is precisely the incisive fable it attempts to be.

"God Help the Child."
Books

"God Help the Child."

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