Writing a success story in Somaliland

Jonathan Starr, a former Boston hedge fund manager, started a school in the breakaway African republic of Somaliland.

Actor Patrick Stewart.

In open letter, 65 writers and artists urge trump to reconsider visa ban

Patrick Stweart, Stephen Sondheim, Rosanne Cash, and Zadie Smith are just a few of the artists who signed.

Lee Friedlander’s photo of Martin Luther King Jr. at the 1957 Prayer Pilgrimage.

Photography review

Lifting every voice in two exhibits at Yale

The remarkable shows feature Lee Friedlander’s photos of a landmark civil rights march and memories of the Harlem Renaissance.

Piers Morgan (left) and J.K. Rowling

Everything you need to know about the Piers Morgan-J.K. Rowling Twitter war

If online fights between celebs are your thing, check out what’s been going on between Rowling and Morgan.

Latest Books headlines

Milo Yiannopoulos resigns from Breitbart

The conservative media provocateur resigned in the wake of a controversy over his comments about pedophilia.

Book Review

Shifting narrators share a narrative puzzle of dark foreboding in ‘Universal Harvester’

Folks have been eagerly awaiting the new novel from John Darnielle, singer-songwriter behind the Mountain Goats, whose first work was long-listed for the National Book Award.

Tom Hanks to publish short stories

Titled “Uncommon Type,” the book will be made up of 17 different tales, each involving a typewriter in some way.

Milo Yiannopoulos book canceled after comments about relationships between boys and men

Simon & Schuster canceled a forthcoming book by the conservative editor because of his controversial statements.

Yiannopoulos loses book deal after his remarks on pedophilia

Yiannopoulos was also disinvited from speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference over the video.

More Books headlines

book review

A slow-burning tale of faithless husband’s killing and marriage gone cold

Katie Kitamura’s rakes the embers of betrayal to find grief smoldering underneath.

Local bestsellers

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

An image from “A Child of Books.”

new england literary news | NINA MACLAUGHLIN

New children’s book visually celebrates written word and storytelling

“A Child of Books’’ track a girl and boy who adventure through forests, over seas, up mountains, and around fantastical castles amid landscapes sculpted from sentences of literary classics.

“American Girl in Italy” by photographer Ruth Orkin was taken in Florence in 1951.

book review

A stroll through tradition of women about town that takes a few wrong turns

Lauren Elkin is interested in the stories of women who walked metropolises in pursuit of discovery and in defiance of cultural norms.

book review

In an era of superheroes, recalling Thor and Odin

In his new “Norse Mythology,” Neil Gaiman retells his “favorite sequence of myths.”

Jim Shepard’s new story collection is “The World to Come.”

book review

Tales of social outsiders, lives precariously perched

Jim Shepard’s tales of manmade disasters and natural catastrophes turn a spotlight on the precariousness of human existence.


Greater Boston author readings Feb. 19-15

A weekly calendar of literary events and author readings.


Have paperbacks, will travel

After spending years reading the canon, Jung Yun prefers contemporary fiction by writers of color.

the discovery

Poems that join and bind through books and years

Somerville’s Black Ocean has recently published “Lay Ghost,’’ a potent set of eight pieces lifted from Nathaniel Mackey’s ongoing series of poems, “Song of the Andoumboulou.’’

story behind the book | kate tuttle

Breathing new life into the tale of disabled girl and a painter in rural Maine

Christina Baker Kline has loved the Andrew Wyeth painting “Christina’s World” for as long as she can remember and now she had based a novel on it.

Six New England authors named finalists for George Washington history prize

The $50,000 award recognizes works written about the founding era in American history.

Springfield, MA - 2/8/2017 - Merriam-Webster editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski poses for a portrait in the dictionary company's vault where he records its' word of the day podcast in Springfield, MA, February 8, 2017. (Keith Bedford/Globe Staff)

Globe Magazine

How the dusty Merriam-Webster dictionary reinvented itself. Bigly.

From their Springfield headquarters, a team of lexicographers is defending the honor of the English language in an era of “alternative facts.”

Buchi Emecheta, 72, Nigerian novelist

Ms. Emecheta gave voice to African women struggling to reconcile traditional roles with the demands of modernity.

Lev Navrozov, 88, literary translator and Soviet dissident

Mr. Navrozov smuggled out his study of Lenin and Stalin’s campaigns of terror when he emigrated to the United States.

Up Close

An author guided by her belief in angels

Mansfield’s Kelly Kascavitch says it was her belief in angels that help guide us in daily lives that led to her to write a self-published book, “Mommy, What Are Angels?”

new england literary news | NINA MACLAUGHLIN

How we got to an era of lethal self-defense

Caroline Light’s book finds the roots of all this in the nation’s history of racial and gender inequality

the story behind the book | kate tuttle

A saga of love and magical realism on a remote Irish island

In “The Stolen Child,” an American woman arrives on a Irish island where her life become entwined in the lives of two local sisters.

George Saunders’s latest book is “Lincoln at the Bardo.”

book review

Grief, ghosts, and America in ‘Lincoln in the Bardo’

Fans of George Saunders’s stories — some of the most original work in American history — have craved this book for a long time, and he has not disappointed.

Local bestsellers

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

President Obama with his dog Bo outside the Oval Office in 2012.

four takes

The world through the eyes (and nose) of a dog

Capsule reviews of “The Genius of Dogs,’’ “Dog Sense,’’ “The Other End of the Leash,’’ “Inside of a Dog’’

the discovery

Giving cannibalism the sniff test

Bill Schutt’s goal is to understand whether the taboos are hardwired or because of culture and ponders whether circumstances, particularly brought about by climate change, could popularize people eating.


Greater Boston author readings Feb. 12-18

A weekly calendar of literary events and author readings.


Fan of histories that force us to rethink history

Kaitlyn Greenidge says she’s particularly interested in overlooked or ignored people or places.

book review

In ‘The Price for Their Pound of Flesh,’ black bodies matter

Daina Ramey Berry’s revelatory new history emphasizes the horrific nature of the so-called peculiar institution and its central place in the growth of early capitalism in the western world.

book review

A sweeping love saga of two orphans told on edges of realism

“The Lonely Hearts Hotel,’’ a larger-than-life, gritty love story that reads like a fable.

Ms. Gelb spent much of her career following the writer.

Barbara Gelb, 91, author, playwright, and journalist

Ms. Gelb, with her husband, Arthur Gelb, produced the first full-scale biography of the playwright Eugene O’Neill.

Henry Hampton recording “Eyes on the Prize’’ vocals in 1986.

Recalling ground-breaking documentary that reframed history of civil rights movement

On the 30th anniversary of “Eyes on the Prize’’ the story behind creator Henry Hampton’s achievement has been preserved in “True South,” a new book by Jon Else.

Boston rocker Rick Berlin at Papercuts J.P., whose in-house imprint published his memoir, “The Paragraphs.”

Rick Berlin’s memoir is a first, on multiple levels

The longtime Boston rocker and Jamaica Plain denizen collected scraps of his writings and compiled them into a book, the first for his publisher, Cutlass Press.

Globe Magazine

Saving shelter dogs: A love story

Will Happy, Harmony, and Bridget find homes before kennel stress makes them unadoptable?

Author Ayelet Waldman

Book Review

A microdose (of LSD) a day helped keep the doctor away

Ayelet Waldman chronicles her experiment with taking tiny therapeutic doses of LSD in “A Really Good Day.”

the discovery

A portrait of parents’ bottomless grief

“Fish in Exile” follows Ethos and Catholic, a married couple battered by the death of their twins


Greater Boston author readings Feb. 5-11

A weekly calendar of literary events and author readings.

Abelardo Morell’s panoramic photograph of Walden Pond.

new england literary news | Nina MacLaughlin

Camera obscura images mark bicentennial of Thoreau’s birth

There is the actual Walden Pond and the one that lives in our imaginations, and Abelardo Morell’s images explore the interplay between the two.

book review

Amid era of Trumpism, immigrant tales of people not politics

Viet Thanh Nguyen’s stories aren’t interested in policy but in the lived texture of refugee experience.

the story behind the story | kate tuttle

What we mean when we say civil war

Civil wars tend to be particularly long lasting and increasingly democratic politics is looking like civil war by other means.

book review

Tracking race to develop vaccine to head off birth defects from rubella

Meredith Wadman chronciles the push to produce a vaccine ahead of a projected outbreak around 1970.

Patricia Bosworth with her father and her brother, Bart Jr., at Lake Tahoe in 1937.

book review

Actress and biographer takes on her own life, including suicides of her father, brother

In her graceful biographies, Patricia Bosworth writes with sensitive restraint about artists whose self-destructive lives often attract lurid coverage and in her new memoir she manages to do the same with her own life.

book review

It takes a utopia to raise a child

In “Perfect Little World,” Kevin Wilson focuses on the same questions that have preoccupied parents for millennia: What is the right way to raise children?


In no rush to get to the end of her reading bucket list

Literary star Gish Jen explores the differences in how people from different cultures think about the self and society in “The Girl at the Baggage Claim.”

Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colo., last month.

Sales soar for Milo Yiannopoulos book; publisher mum on tour

Sales are soaring for the upcoming book by incendiary right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos.

book review

Teetering saga trails Irish immigrant (complete with cowboy drawl) through Indian battles, Civil War

Until now, Sebastian Barry’s McNulty histories have played out in the 20th century, chiefly in Ireland; the present installment, however, heads to mid-19th century America.