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Literary Boroughs #54: Boston, MA (Part 1)

The Literary Boroughs series will explore little-known and well-known literary communities across the country and world and show that while literary culture can exist online without regard to...

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Literary Boroughs #54: Boston, MA (Part Two)

The Literary Boroughs series will explore little-known and well-known literary communities across the country and world and show that while literary culture can exist online without regard to...

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A Victorian Legacy in the Midwest: Hair in Art and Literature

Leila’s Hair Museum occupies an unassuming building in Independence, MO along a busy street of strip malls. I sought it out last summer on a visit to the Midwest, intrigued by its website. According to...

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When We Were Little Women

Like all the books I loved as a kid, Little Women took over my imagination and play and conversation—but in this case, more than any other, the takeover was communal. With my friends, I play-acted...

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Do-Overs: 5 Books that Tell The Untold Story

Some of the best rewrites of classic stories come to us through the author’s imaginings of what the original doesn’t say. Through original work that transcends “fan fiction,” these stand-alone novels...

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Cool Girls Don’t Wear Dresses: Being One of the Boys in Classic Children’s Books

Seminal children’s books are littered with girls who are defiantly un-girly. Just a few of the many examples are Harriet the Spy, who wears a toolbelt stuffed with spy supplies; Pippi Longstocking,...

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The Age Gap in 19th Century Literature

In a recent op-ed for the NY Times, statistics-obsessed Mona Chalabi laid out the age gap in attraction between heterosexual men and women. Culled primarily from OK Cupid’s online data, the piece...

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The Conflicted Feminism of Little Women

Little Women is, in many ways, an unlikely candidate for a perennial feminist classic. Louisa May Alcott’s 1868 novel, now in its 150th year and undergoing its umpteenth adaptation in a new PBS...

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Civil War Christmas Traditions in Little Women

Every Christmas, my mother and I watch a film version of Little Women, based on Louisa May Alcott’s book we read together when I was a child. This book and all it represents of our Christmas...

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