The New York Times Book Review: The Power of Words

This year is the 125th anniversary of The New York Times Book Review, a key part of the paper’s coverage of culture and news since 1851. Francis Brown, who edited the Book Review for 21 years from 1949, described it as ‘the period of Trollope and Dickens and Thackeray, of Whitman, Longfellow, Tennyson and Baudelaire, of Darwin and Huxley, of the Russians Turgenev, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy,’ among others. While these writers are still beloved today, the focus has changed. Criticism has played a vital role in shifting our perception of ‘literature’. It complements the reading that we do for pure pleasure, and provides us with another level of engagement and understanding. It can make us better readers: ones who are more open and adventurous. Today, join The New York Times’s John Williams as he speaks with some very special Book Festival guests - including American poet, novelist and essayist Patricia Lockwood and debut novelist Natasha Brown - who are pushing the boundaries of language, genre and style, and reinventing the craft to show what good writing – and reading – can do.

This is a live event, with an author Q&A.

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