Benton and Pollock

Two trailblazing artists and their relationship is the theme of historian Henry Adams’s book Tom and Jack: The Intertwined Lives of Thomas Hart Benton and Jackson Pollock. Abstract impressionist Mr. Pollock let the paint fall where it may, while Mr. Benton’s style was the polar opposite. Mr. Pollock was a student of Benton’s.

Michael Pollan Dishes Up Cooking Lessons to Sold Out Crowd

Michael Pollan left an overflow crowd at the Farm Institute with a clear message last week: start cooking.

“You can take a deep dive into the soul with cooking,” he said a during a sold-out a reading of his new book Thursday night.

After 30 Years With Whitey Bulger, They're Ready for New Chapter

As a jury deliberates in a Boston federal court over the fate of notorious mobster James (Whitey) Bulger, families of victims, law enforcement and a fascinated public await the outcome of the long saga of Whitey and the corrupt FBI. In the United States v. James J. Bulger, the famous South Boston resident is charged with 32 counts, including extortion, money laundering and 19 counts of murder.

From Bagels to Big Time Food Writing, Island Feeds His Passion

In the summer of 1971 Michael Pollan’s pig Kosher won first prize at the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Fair. But her glory was short-lived.

Folksinger James Taylor had also entered his pig, Mona, at the fair. She, too, won a blue ribbon. Mona, a very large pig, was made famous by a celebrated photograph of Mr. Taylor and the pig walking on his property in West Tisbury.

Acclaim Received, Never Sought for Poetic Soul

Throughout her life, Fanny Howe has consistently chosen to do what she loves most, never expecting to be compensated, much less be read or appreciated. She has lived a life of letters, writing poetry for her own enjoyment and inspiring others to do the same.

Free to Be Creative, Author and Store Owner Stretches Herself

Though she has less renown, a Seuss rival is in town. Her new book’s blue and it’s green and it’s got a clever rhyme scheme.

Blue In Your Hair, Green On Your Chair by Ellen Wolfe brings readers into the mind of a child deciding on a birthday gift for her father. After interrogating her inner circle, which includes Mom, stuffed animals and a friend, for ideas about what to give Dad for his big day, Ruby finally decides to go with her own idea ­— to create lots of paintings, like the ones she sees during museum excursions with her father.

Not Satisfied With Simple Story, Writer Digs Deep Into Rosa Parks Mystique

February 2013 marked the centenary of the birthof Rosa Parks, the African American seamstress from Montgomery, Ala., who became known as “the mother of the civil rights movement” after her courageous refusal to give up her seat on a public bus. The image of a tidy, genteel, quiet lady with her head held high remains emblazoned as a totemic image of the movement.

360 Sound Sets Story of Lives, and Columbia Record's History, to Music

Sean Wilentz is hardly your Quaaludes and vitriol music critic. That may be why the Bob Dylan in America author was commissioned to write the definitive history of one of America’s truly great record companies. Mr. Wilentz is also the Pulitzer Prize-nominated author of The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln.

Remembering Home, and Elsewhere

Vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard is a Russo family tradition. “I’m trying to remember the first time we took my daughters to the Vineyard, but I know they’ve been coming every year since they were 10 or 11, maybe even earlier,” said novelist Richard Russo, who in 2002 won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his book Empire Falls.

West Coaster Goes Native to Write Life of New England WASP Family

Maggie Shipstead was not yet 30 when she finished her first novel, Seating Arrangements. The story, as she described it in a recent interview, is about “an ever-so-slightly dysfunctional Waspy family holding a shotgun wedding on a resort island.”

Ms. Shipstead has never been to the Vineyard before. It is of Nantucket that she speaks, naturally.

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