• The Epic Journey to ‘The Underground Railroad’

    Director Barry Jenkins struggled with the ethical implications of making entertainment out of the brutal events narrated in Colson Whitehead's novel "Underground Railroad." He discusses how he decided to go ahead with the miniseries adaptation anyway. 

  • Stories of Then That Still Hold Up Now

    Margaret Atwood, Héctor Tobar, Thomas Mallon and Brenda Wineapple on older political novels they admire that have a lot to say about the world today.

  • “A Very Different Story”: Marian Sims and Reconstruction

    by David B. Parker

    Marian Sims's 1942 historical novel Beyond Surrender was not nearly as popular as Gone with the Wind. But it reminds us today of a history that might have been--both during Reconstruction and in the popular portrayal of the period.

  • Fictional History, Patriotism, and the Fight for Scottish Independence

    by LuAnn McCracken Fletcher

    As promoters of Scotland as a tourist destination continue to embrace “tartan heritage” in an effort to support Scotland’s important tourist industry, they unwittingly reinforce a version of history that serves the purpose of political propaganda, rather than disseminating a nuanced understanding of Scotland’s past. 

  • Jim Cullen: Review of Mohsin Hamid's "How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia" (Riverhead, 2013)

    Jim Cullen, who teaches at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York, is a book review editor at HNN. His new book, Sensing the Past: Hollywood Stars and Historical Visions, was recently published by Oxford University Press. Cullen blogs at American History Now.How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia solidifies Mohsin Hamid's claim as a major contemporary novelist. It showcases what have become a familiar set of gifts, among them a compelling voice, a keen feel for structure, and, given his literary sensibility, a surprisingly efficient narrative drive. Like his two previous books, Moth Smoke (2000) and The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007), this one is brief. And yet in the space of less than 230 small pages he renders an entire life that seems simultaneously rich in detail and resonant as a fable.