All Episodes

Toni Morrison’s Opus About Confronting a Terrible Past

To understand Beloved, we must first look at the author: Nobel Prize Winner Toni Morrison.

Why Magical Realism is a Global Phenomenon

We explore the roots, tenets of the genre, and its rise in Latin American Literature.

Why Edgar Allan Poe Isn't Just a Sad Boy

His legacy is more complicated than school books may have lead us to believe.

Inside the Absurdist Mind of Kurt Vonnegut

We explore the life and work of Kurt Vonnegut.

The Women of Jane Austen

The women in her work reveal to us her growth, her politics and ambition.

Why We Keep Retelling the Classics

Sometimes a story is just so dang good, it bears repeating.

What We Don’t Know About The Father of Sci-Fi

There's more to H.G. Wells than we know or think.

Why Do People Think Huck Finn Is Racist?

It is considered one of the great American novels and one of the most frequently banned.

The Life behind To Kill a Mockingbird

it is one of the trademark texts of the American school system by Harper Lee.

Don’t Know Much About BEOWULF? Nobody Does!

We take a look at this Epic Poem and follow its long, winding journey.

The Female Writers Who Dominated Amatory Fiction

Amatory fiction was a genre of fiction was created by…women.

Octavia Butler, The Grand Dame of Science Fiction

She is one of the most prolific and important Black authors in the genre.

Jane Eyre: Why We Keep Reading It

After 175 years after its publication, here's why we're still dissecting Jane Eyre.

How Manga Took Over American Bookshelves

Astro Boy, Dragon Ball, Akira, Sailor Moon, Demon Slayer, Death Note.

What's in a (Pen) Name?

The nom de plume has a long and proud history in the literary world.

Unraveling the Myth of Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway and the myth of a hero.

How Do You Write a Bestseller?

Here are the tent-pole blockbuster books that support the publishing industry.

Literary Icons You NEED to Know From the Harlem Renaissance

Harlem Renaissance is one of the most iconic periods in American literature, here's why.

Anne Rice, The Queen of Literary Monsters

Learn about how Anne Rice's work has changed the landscape of genre fiction.

Dune, The Most Important Sci Fi Series Ever?

Learn about the history and adaptations of the 1965 novel DUNE.

Are Graphic Novels... Novels?

We're breaking down how the graphic novel went from the comic book store to the classroom.

The (Stephen) King of Horror

We lead you through the dark and twisted world of Uncle Stevie, the King of Horror.

The Fiery History of Banned Books

Let's explore how the seemingly innocuous book has survived centuries of the ban hammer.

The It’s Lit! Musical Episode

A lot of the bread and butter of musical theater is built off of books!

War and Peace and Everything Else

In this day and age of publishing, books like War & Peace are something of a relic.

The Constructed Languages of JRR Tolkien

A less-discussed aspect of Tolkien is the way he used constructed language in his writing.

The Byronic Hero: Isn’t it Byronic?

Brooding, sensual, violent, intelligent, and single-minded.

Why We Still Love Little Women, 150 Years Later

Before women were asking “Am I Carrie or Samantha?”, they were asking “Am I Jo or Amy?"

How Fictional Pandemics Reflect the Real Thing

Explore how fictional pandemics have evolved over time.

Afrofuturism: From Books to Blockbusters

What is Afro-Futurism and what is its place in Black storytelling?

The Case for Fan Fiction

We explore how fan fiction writers were able to come out of the proverbial closet of shame

About It's Lit!

It’s Lit! is a series of smart, funny video essays from PBS Digital Studios about our favorite books and why we love to read. Hosted by Lindsay Ellis, the series delves into topics like the evolution of YA, how science fiction mirrors our own anxieties, and why the book is sometimes just a _bit_ better than the movie.

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