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The play’s the thing

“All’s Well”is a stealthily captivating new novel by Mona Awad that, like its namesake, skews more dark than light as it casts its spell. As a problem drama with its own unsympathetic heroine, “All’s Well” gets off to a rough start. Like Awad’s previous novel, the New England Book Award finalist “Bunny,” “All’s Well” revels in its protagonist’s unlikability.

Anthony Veasna So

Stories of survival and celebration in ‘Afterparties’

The afterparty is a queer kind of thing. It’s not the party, but it’s also not not the party. It’s pretty clear when it begins, not at all clear when it ends. It’s a time of extremes: People get sloppier; arguments get louder; drama gets more dramatic. As Anthony Veasna So writes in his story “We Would’ve Been Princes!,” at the afterparty people “liberate themselves from their duties.”

New England Literary News
Davoll's, a general store established in 1793, takes on new life as an independent bookstore in South Dartmouth.

A new bookstore in South Dartmouth, a book of mayoral imaginings from kids, and a republished H. G. Wells lecture

News of a literary note from around the region.


Poet Kaveh Akbar heeds the call of many faiths with ‘Pilgrim Bell’

Spiritual seeking is at the center of Akbar’s new collection.


Local bestsellers for the week ending July 25

Based on reporting from the independent booksellers of the New England Independent Booksellers Association and IndieBound.


Virtual author readings for Aug. 1 - 7

All author appearances are virtual unless otherwise noted.

Daryl Hall and John Oates (pictured in 2017) play the Xfinity Center in Mansfield Aug. 5.

What’s happening in the arts world

This week's picks from Globe critics.

Members of the Italian band Måneskin pose with their trophy after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam.

Eurovision’s continental shift

The most improbable development after an oddball Italian band won this year? Success in America.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the creator, writer, director, and star of "Mr. Corman," a series premiering Aug. 6 on Apple TV+.

In some of TV’s best series, extraordinary ordinary people

"Mr. Corman" is the latest addition to a rich genre of TV portraiture, stories embedded with small ordeals and epiphanies that are never plot-driven.

Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher in "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."

Final ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ episodes will air in coming weeks

Beginning Aug. 12, NBC will air two back-to-back episodes per week over five weeks — but not five consecutive weeks.

John Douglas Thompson as Prospero in Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's production of "The Tempest" on Boston Common.

This ‘Tempest’ was worth the wait

John Douglas Thompson excels as Prospero in the Free Shakespeare on the Common production originally scheduled for last summer.

Life Encounters: Archie Burnett at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival 2021.

Archie Burnett spins underground dance club memories at Jacob’s Pillow

With "Life Encounters," the grandfather of House Ninja proves he can still get down.

Artist Ekua Holmes was photographed in her Roxbury studio this week. The very first museum survey of her illustrations for children's books opened recently at the MFA.

For Roxbury’s Ekua Holmes, an art career that keeps flowering

The very first museum survey of her illustrations for children's books opened this month at the MFA.

Will LeBow, David Adkins, and Keira Naughton in rehearsal for David Mamet's "The Christopher Boy's Communion" at Great Barrington Public Theater.

A new Mamet play and a new Berkshires theater are well-matched

Playwright David Mamet and Great Barrington Public Theater cofounder Jim Frangione are longtime friends and collaborators.

Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science. From left: Morgan Guerin, Matthew Stevens, Carrington, Aaron Parks, Debo Ray, and Kassa Overall.

Terri Lyne Carrington brings explorations of jazz and social justice to Newport

Her band Social Science's highly acclaimed "Waiting Game" was the result of a disparate group of artists meshing at the right moment. On Saturday, they'll play at the Newport Jazz festival.

Andra Day will perform Sunday at the Newport Jazz Festival.

At Newport Jazz Festival, legends, rising stars, and exciting collaborations

The sold-out festival returns this year afer last year's cancellation.

Summer Arts Preview

Critics' picks