Home Alone (1990) is one of the top-five definitive Christmas movies. Both kids and parents love it -- and that's exceedingly rare. Written and produced by the world-famous John Hughes, Home Alone tells the story of Macaulay Culkin's Kevin...

A Lesson Before Dying is Ernest J. Gaines's eighth book, and is in some ways his most autobiographical. Many aspects of the novel are drawn from Gaines's personal experiences growing up in Oscar, Louisiana. For example, the plantation school where...

The title, A Burnt-Out Case, refers to a condition identified by Doctor Colin in the novel: some lepers develop severe psychological numbness as a result of their disease. Even after they are cured and cease to feel the pain of their condition,...

This selection of stories includes John Updike's most popular and critically debated short works. "Ace in the Hole," "A & P," and "Pigeon Feathers" are all characteristic of Updike's early style; indeed, 1953's "Ace" was the 21-year-old...

First published in 1922, Babbitt is set during the 1920s (the Jazz Age), the period in America following World War I that is considered especially materialistic and spiritually depraved. Politically, the country was charged with fear due to the...

Mark Twain is one of the most famous figures in American literature, and is known for his novels like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. What is not as widely known about him is the surprising amount of essays...

Released in 1988, Mississippi Burning is a crime thriller film directed by Alan Parker. Though released in the late 1980's, it features some of America's touchiest Civil Right's Era topics - a disappearance of three civil rights activists is met...

“Sunny Prestatyn” is one of the poems in Philip Larkin’s poetry volume called The Whitsun Weddings, which is a collection of 32 poems published in the United Kingdom by Faber and Faber. The poem was believed to be first published in 1964, though...

“The Whitsun Weddings,” the titular poem of a book by the same name, is perhaps the most-discussed poem by Philip Larkin, known as England’s ‘poet laureate of disappointment.’ With eight stanzas of ten lines each, rhyming like Keatsian odes but...

Three Sisters is a play written by Anton Chekhov in 1900. It follows the lives of the Prozorov sisters as their fortune is in decline and they must seek out a happy life against the odds. The play traces various human disappointments, specifically...

Warsan Shire is a Kenyan-born Somali poet whose work has risen in prominence since some of her verse was featured in the singer Beyoncé's film Lemonade, released in 2016. Her debut collection—entitled teaching my mother how to give birth—was well...

The Valley of Amazement is a novel of two halves: the first, written from the point of view of Violet, the abandoned daughter of a courtesan house owner mother who abruptly leaves Shanghai to fly to San Francisco where she is able at last to meet...

Tim Burton's 2010 film Alice in Wonderland is an adaptation of Lewis Carroll's original novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, with some elements of the novel that followed, Through the Looking Glass, serving as additional inspiration. In Alice's...