| Nov 12, 2008
Studs Terkel, who died last month at the age of 96, was America's most popular oral historian.
Though never a "writer" of the first rank, he nevertheless was a unique contributor to American letters and a vital link to the current of idealistic...
| Oct 13, 2008
OAKLAND -- The members of the McCoy Memorial Baptist Church choir in Los Angeles have been working very hard lately. The 40-member ensemble normally meets once a week at its East 46th Street home. But since reaching the L.A. regional semifinals of the...
| Jul 26, 2009
In the early stages of writing my memoir "Slow Motion," I packed my bags and prepared to spend a month at Yaddo, an artists' community in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. I had never been to Yaddo before and was feeling intimidated. James Baldwin, Truman Capote and...
| Feb 28, 2008
William F. Buckley Jr., the columnist, novelist, television talk show host and tireless intellectual who founded the modern conservative movement and was its articulate voice for nearly six decades, died Wednesday. He was 82.
Buckley, who had been ill...
| Jun 13, 2009
Harold Norse, a San Francisco poet often associated with the Beats, who was mentor or peer to many of the greatest talents in 20th century American literature, including Tennessee Williams, James Baldwin, Allen Ginsberg and Charles Bukowski, has died....
| Jul 25, 2009
E. Lynn Harris, a bestselling author of popular black fiction who shattered barriers by writing about gay characters in novels such as "Invisible Life" and "Just As I Am: A Novel," died Thursday night at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He...
| Jan 18, 2009
My eldest daughter, who is majoring in African American studies, read Barack Obama's first book, "Dreams From My Father," last summer. And she said to me in wonder, "It's a beautiful book. He's a great writer."
A president who is a great writer, who...
| Apr 26, 2009
There's a book I don't remember well, though I can remember precisely where I found it in my elementary school library -- three yards to the right of the door, in the middle of the third shelf from the floor.
I was, and remain, a compulsive reader. Back...
| Apr 4, 2008
Today marks the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. To mark the occasion, the editorial board , and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is murder (the City Council refused to join in on the gesture). Congress held a...
| Feb 21, 2008
Black History Month was established in 1976, as an evolution of Negro History Week (founded half a century earlier by Carter G. Woodson), and has since become a staple of the nation's elementary school classrooms and textbooks.
Times editorials, on the...
| Nov 7, 2006
NICHOLAS DELBANCO is admirably prolific. He has written 16 books of fiction and edited seven others, including anthologies of writing by winners of the Hopwood Awards, which he oversees at the University of Michigan. And he has written seven nonfiction...
| Jun 8, 2008
IN 2005 at the Sundance Theatre Lab, Daniel Breaker was perfunctorily reading a play in which he thought he was being offered a minor role, a character simply called Youth. But 20 pages into the quirky musical "Passing Strange," the actor was...