Here we’ll feature classic and working-class literature–and Marxist critiques of both. We’ll also encourage new writers and poets with creative writing workshops, reviews and other projects and forums

Who was Dashiell Hammett? One-Hour Video Discussion of the Maltese Falcon

DukeReads: Michael Malone on Dashiell Hammett’s ‘The Maltese Falcon’Access Here
For a free download of a Hammett short story, ‘Arson Plus,’ go HERE


Revolutionaries, Agitators, and Organizers in Crime Fiction Some subject matters and historical settings naturally lend themselves to radical politics. Crime fiction has often had a sympathy and respect for the down-and-out and oppressed. If noir is the moment when obsession and belief turn to action, when inertia is disrupted, then it should be no surprise that the actions of revolutionaries, organizers, and activists drive many a plot.Access Here

Eight Tragedies of Shakespeare: A Marxist Study

Book Study: In this companion volume to Shakespeare: Poet and Citizen Kiernan sets out to rescue Shakespearean studies from the increasingly solipsistic terrain of literary criticism, focusing instead on historical location as a means to understanding Shakespeare’s writing. Karl Marx himself was a great fan of Shakespeare, as summarized HERE in an article.Access Here

The Lennie Moss Mysteries: Tales of a Modern Working-Class Hero Tim Sheard’s hero is a union shop steward as a moderm Ms. Marple. The author provides realistic details of hospital routine and budget-cutting politics. Other bonuses are polished prose and elements of warmth and humor. Strongly recommended for most mystery collections. Access Here

The Adventure of English Eight 50-minute video episodes covering the birth of the English language as a hybrid to its globalizationAccess Here

Maya Angelou on Life and Literature

50-minute interview in five parts. Armstrong Williams interviews writer and poet Maya Angelou. Maya Angelou is considered to be one of the greatest voices of contemporary literature. Armstrong Williams gives and in depth interview of the life of Maya Angelou. Maya Angelou talks about what is was like growing up. You will be surprised at the shocking trials Maya Angelou had when she was younger. Maya Angelou gives great insight on how she became the Maya Angelou of a contemporary renaissance.Access Here

THE HANDMAID’S TALE  author Margaret Atwood discusses her dystopian classic and being a consultant on the hit Hulu series based on it. Atwood reflects on using fiction and essays to warn about authoritarianism, climate change and other dangers. HERE

KEROUAC READING FROM ON THE ROAD. And interviewed by Steve Allen in this rare video from the late 195os. Kerouac wrote On the Road in three very short weeks in 1951. But then it took six years for the book, famously written on a long scroll, to reach the reading public in 1957. Shortly after its publication, critics were at least quick to recognize what the book meant. One New York Times reviewer called it “the most beautifully executed, the clearest and the most important utterance yet made by the generation Kerouac himself named years ago as beat.”

Nelson Algren Is a Writer for Our Times
The author’s stories feel more relevant today than perhaps ever before. Shaped by his days riding trains during the Great Depression, and who persisted in writing about the noir worlds of drug addicts, prostitutes, and thieves even during the prosperous years of post-World War II America. he was “The bard of the stumblebum,” mocked critic Leslie Fielder. “The Last of the Proletarian Writers.” But he persists for a couple reasons. First, writers love writing about Algren because Algren was a writer’s writer, never allowing money, love, status, or comfort to distract him from the pursuit of his art.

Allen Ginsberg reads “Howl,” (Big Table Chicago Reading, 1959)

Shakespeare for Today: War and Leadership in Henry V. Four PBS videos with a teaching and study guide for introducing the Bard to the youth of today.

50 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Works Every Socialist Should Read

Reposted from Fantastic Metropolis by author China Mieville: “This is not a list of the “best” fantasy or SF. There are huge numbers of superb works not on the list. Those below are chosen not just because of their quality—which though mostly good, is variable—but because the politics they embed (deliberately or not) are of particular interest to socialists. Of course, other works—by the same or other writers—could have been chosen: disagreement and alternative suggestions are welcomed. I change my own mind hour to hour on this anyway…”  ALSO: ‘Reds in Space‘, a listing of radical sci-fi in a North Star post.