A dark world in gem-like sentences

The late Denis Johnson wrote some near perfect books, and his new collection recalls what made them so memorable

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Diaz at home in Cambridge and reading “Islandborn.”

books

Why acclaimed novelist Junot Diaz decided to write a children’s book

“Islandborn” arose from a promise the author, who was born in the Dominican Republic, made to two godchildren who asked him to write a children’s book featuring kids who looked like them.

Up Close

Writer focuses on those who fight back

In the two books he’s co-authored since leaving the Boston Herald, Dave Wedge of Milton has zeroed in on people confronting adversity.

book review

Spinning out of control

Offbeat love story of a lonely record seller in the age of CDs ponders memory and change

Latest Books headlines

Sarah Vowell and Tony Kushner to discuss Lincoln’s (very stable) genius

The pair will offer their perspectives about the man who steered the country through the bloody Civil War and the abolition of slavery at Harvard University.

Names

Stephen King to receive PEN America award

The wildly popular Maine writer is being honored for creating a body of work that “helps us to understand the human condition in original and powerful ways.”

How a new love grew from the ashes of tragedy

Lucy Kalanithi, whose late husband wrote an acclaimed 2016 memoir of his final years, is now in a relationship with John Duberstein , whose late wife wrote an acclaimed 2017 memoir of her final years.

Local bestsellers

A list of bestsellers based on reporting from the independent booksellers of the New England Independent Booksellers Association and IndieBound.

bookings

Greater Boston author readings Jan. 14-20

A weekly calendar of literary events and author readings.

Special section

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/08/27/BostonGlobe.com/Arts/Images/spotlight-S_09159_rgb.jpg The story behind the ‘Spotlight’ movie

A look at The Boston Globe’s coverage of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and the movie “Spotlight,” which is based on the stories and the reporters behind the investigation.

Most anticipated fall books

books

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2017/09/06/BostonGlobe.com/Arts/Images/fallbooks_1440x600.jpg 19 must-read books for fall

This year brings big new biographies of Gorbachev, Grant, and FDR, pointed and personal political takes from Hillary Clinton and Ta-Nehisi Coates, and fiction from Jennifer Egan, Alice McDermott, James McBride, Louise Erdrich, and others.

Fall Arts Preview 2017

Fall Arts preview

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2017/09/07/BostonGlobe.com/Arts/Images/Fall%20arts%20home%20version%201-5253.jpg A guide to the best of what to see and do in Boston

A complete guide to movies, music, books, arts, theater, and family events in the Greater Boston area this season.

More Books headlines

An undated photo of the Old Corner Bookstore on the corner

new england literary news | Nina MacLaughlin

Turning Old Corner Bookstore into a museum; legacy of MLK’s murder

Paul Lewis, Boston College professor, is spearheading a petition effort to change the 300-year-old building.

story behind the book | kate tuttle

Stories that form the DNA of a culture

Martin Puchner looks at 16 international texts spread over 4,000 years that tell the stories of how cultures came to be and what they value.

book review

The downside of being a prodigy

“Off The Charts’’ examines the stories of 15 gifted children and emphasizes the strains and difficulties that accompany prodigious gifts.

Hamilton and Jefferson of the environmental movement

Mid-20th century scientists, Norman Borlaug and William Vogt, represent the poles of approach to the problem: changing the way we live or pursuing technologies that make change unnecessary.

bibliophiles

Author likes a helping of science in her fiction

Nathalia Holt, who has a PhD in biochemistry, can tell when an author has a real love of science.

Book REview

Looking back at James Madison, an advocate of minority rights who protected slavery

A paradox lies at the heart of ‘‘The Three Lives of James Madison,’’ by Harvard law professor Noah Feldman, who charts Madison’s life as ‘‘father of the Constitution,’’ political partisan, and statesman.

Mueller team interested in interviewing Trump

The issue of questioning the president has come up in recent discussions between Robert Mueller’s team and Trump lawyers.

Greater Boston author readings Jan. 7- 13

A weekly calendar of literary events

Lauren Markham

The Story Behind the Book | Kate Tuttle

Lauren Markham tells story of young migrants in ‘The Far Away Brothers’

The challenges faced by children who come to the United States without parents became the core drama of her book.

“Why Comics?” author Hillary Chute (left) with cartoonist Lynda Barry.

New England Literary News | Nina MacLaughlin

Northeastern professor takes a closer look at comics

Cambridge resident Hillary Chute details the evolution of the form in “Why Comics?”

bibliophiles

Stories that inhabit gray areas attract Mira T. Lee

Mira T. Lee favors books that explore emotion and psychological complexity.

A funny thing happened at work

A smart critique of corporate inanity is tempered by compassion for the people within.

Timothy Leary arrives in Boston Aug. 2, 1969.

Book review

‘The Most Dangerous Man in America’ looks at Nixon’s public enemy No. 1

The book details “a madly careening, twenty-eight-month global hunt for one man,” former Harvard psychologist and LSD guru Timothy Leary.

Book Review

‘Winter’ of our discontent

Ali Smith’s virtuosic second novel in her planned seasonal quartet offers answers in metaphor for the dark era of Brexit and Trump.

Local Bestsellers

HARDCOVER

President Donald Trump in December.

Trump tried to stop a book about him from coming out. So the publisher moved up the release date

The publisher of a new book about President Trump’s first year in office apparently isn’t cowed by demands to halt publication.

After a one-night stint in 2016, “The David Bowie Experience” is back at the Charles Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Science.

Your Week Ahead

Five things to do, Jan. 1-7

Harbor Island Excursion, Moby-Dick Marathon, David Bowie at the Museum of Science, and more.

Bill Kennedy after the Chateau Thierry relay race in 1919.

new england literary news | Nina maclaughlin

Saga of a bricklayer and Boston Marathon champ and a marathon of ‘Moby-Dick’

Bill Kennedy, a bricklayer by trade, survived a five-story fall off a coliseum in Iowa, train accidents while riding the rails, car crashes, Typhoid, Depression-era bankruptcy — and he also won the 1917 Boston Marathon.

bibliophiles

‘Spiderwick Chronicles’ author enjoys revisiting children’s books

When he rereads classics, Tony DiTerlizzi often finds allegories that he missed when he was younger.

book review

Reaching up from the depths of society

“A State of Freedom’’ gathers five linked stories of grinding poverty in India.

bookings

Greater Boston author readings Dec. 31-Jan. 6

A weekly calendar of literary events and author readings.

the story behind the book | kate tuttle

The art of parenthood

Oliver de la Paz’s children feature prominently in his current manuscript in process.

book review

A Turkish character whose story touches on hot-button issues of faith, inequality, harassment

Elif Shafak’s new novel, “Three Daughters of Eve,’’ seems almost clairvoyant.

Turkish author Yasar Kemal in Istanbul in 2011.

Writers’ view of America is often helped from time spent outside of it

Writers grappling with the new American order should look abroad for clues on how to see clearly amid dark times.

bibliophiles

Author likes the impact of short stories

Carmen Maria Machado’s debut collection was a finalist for the National Book Award

the story behind the book | kate tuttle

Love and excavators

“I Love You for Miles and Miles” combines the classic bedtime recitation of parental devotion with a child’s obsession with construction vehicles.

book review

Fairy tales and the cold truth of women’s live

Jenny Diski’s wonderful story collection, “The Vanishing Princess,’’ holds riches for all.

Robert Burroughs Newbury | 1976 From “The Last of the Hill Farms: Echoes of Vermont’s Past’’

new england literary news | nina maclaughlin

Lee to write Marvel books; featuring images of Vermont hill farms

Mackenzi Lee announced she’ll be writing a three-book series of historical novels based on popular anti-heroes from the Marvel universe of comics.

Greater Boston author readings Dec. 24-30

A weekly listing 0f literary events and author readings

four takes

The holiday season and what’s faith got to do with it?

The season can fall particularly hard on the uncertain, and fill lapsed believers with a longing to return.

“The Hip Hop Nutcracker” is at the Shubert Theatre.

Things to Do

The Weekender: Nutcrackers, Peanuts, ice queens, and crack-ups

The Globe’s picks for the best ways to spend your weekend.

12 audiobooks that make great gifts

Holiday shopping suggestions from thrillers to astronomy to classics that’ve taken a star turn

The bidding war over Kristen Roupenian’s first book may bring a price in the neighborhood of $1 million.

names

‘Cat Person’ writer sells her debut book in international publishing deal

Massachusetts native Kristen Roupenian, author of New Yorker short story “Cat Person,” has sold her first book, “You Know You Want This.”

THE YEAR IN ARTS 2017

The best books of 2017

Our critics list their top picks, from fiction to mystery to sports.

Fall Arts preview

A guide to the best of what to see and do in Boston

A complete guide to movies, music, books, arts, theater, and family events in the Greater Boston area this season.

Happy hour is for both books and drinks at Riffraff.

new england literary news | nina maclaughlin

New bookstore/bar in Providence; book focuses on kids of LGBTQ parents

Riffraff, opened its doors earlier this month, offering up books, booze, and espresso

the story behind the book | kate tuttle

A Dorchester boy serves up memories of Boston’s holiday traditions

In “Christmas Traditions in Boston,” author Anthony Sammarco explores the holiday’s local history.

bookings

Greater Boston author readings Dec. 17-23

A weekly calendar of literary events and author readings.

Some of the 1,000 editions of “A Christmas Carol” amassed by Timothy Kenny of Lancaster.

Lifestyle

Deck the halls with books by Dickens

Lancaster collector’s love for “A Christmas Carol’’ tops 1,ooo editions.

The word “feminism” is Merriam-Webster’s 2017 word of the year.

‘Feminism’ is Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year. You shouldn’t be surprised

It was scribbled in pink marker on poster boards. It was shouted as a battle cry and whispered as a pact. More than anything, it was tested.

Kristen Roupenian.

A Q&A with the author of ‘Cat Person’

When a short story makes a splash these days, you can see the ripples in real time.