American author EL Doctorow pictured in 2004. The author died Tuesday. He was 84. Photograph: AP

EL Doctorow, the author of popular novels grounded in American history including “Ragtime” and “Billy Bathgate, ” has died at age 84, his publisher sa(...)

William J. Maxwell: ‘Poring over novels, stories, essays, poems, and plays as well as political commentary and intercepted correspondence, the FBI acted as a kind of half-buried readers’ bureau with aboveground effects on the making of black art.’

The official and respectable inspiration behind my new book, F.B. Eyes: How J. Edgar Hoover’s Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature, involv(...)

Beyonce reacts as her husband Jay-Z carries their daughter Ivy Blue onstage to present the Video Vanguard Award during the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards in  California yesterday. Photograph: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters 2:01

Beyonce was the reigning queen of the MTV Video Music Awards.The diva closed the awards show with an epic nearly 20-minute performance. Tears streamed(...)

Maya Angelou: when asked exactly how many times she had been married she declined to be specific, ’for fear of sounding frivolous’. photograph: Gerald Herbert/AP

The writer Maya Angelou, who has died aged 86, won acclaim for her first autobiographical memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), a scathing i(...)

Patty Griffin: ‘I don’t have a naturally strong voice. I have to work like an athlete to keep it’

‘I wrote a lot of it before he died. I was kind of bracing myself for that because you know it was going to be big. I was connected to him pretty s(...)