Tag: American literature

What Famous Book is Your State Known For?

Every state is the setting of a famous book. What book is your state the setting of?

 

 

Alabama – To Kill a Mockingbird

Published in 1960, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird takes place in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, which is based on Lee’s hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. Monroeville was also the hometown of Truman Capote.

 

To Kill a Mockingbird cover

image via amazon

 

Alaska – Into the wild

Jon Krakauer’s 1996 non-fiction book is an expansion of his essay on Christopher McCandless, titled Death of an Innocent. Into the Wild was later adapted into the Academy Award nominated film of the same name and was directed by Sean Penn. The book and film both take place in the Alaskan wilderness.

 

Into the Wild Cover

image via amazon

 

Arizona – the bean trees

Barbara Kingsolver’s first novel, The Bean Trees takes place primarily in Tucson, Arizona. The setting of the story has a great symbolic meaning for Taylor, the protagonist of the novel.

 

The Bean Trees cover

image via amazon

 

Arkansas – a painted house

A Painted House was inspired by author John Grisham’s childhood in Arkansas. It follows protagonist Luke Chandler, who is the youngest in a family of cotton farmers, struggling to earn enough money to pay back their debts.

 

A Painted House cover

image via amazon

 

California – east of eden

By Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck, East of Eden is set in Salinas Valley, California. Originally, Steinbeck wanted to describe Salinas Valley, in detail, to his young sons with this novel.

 

East of Eden cover

image via amazon

 

 

colorado – the shining

Stephen King’s iconic novel The Shining takes place at the Overlook Hotel situated in the Colorado Rockies. The setting was influenced by King’s own experience visiting The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado in 1974. The Shining was adapted into a film of the same name in 1980 and remains one of the greatest horror films ever made.

 

The Shining Cover

image via amazon

 

Connecticut – Revolutionary Road

Richard Yates’ debut novel Revolutionary Road is set in the Connecticut suburbs in the 1950s. Yates intended for the novel to be an indictment of American life in the 50s during a time where there was a general lust for conformity.

 

Revolutionary Road cover

image via amazon

 

Delaware – the saint of lost things

The Saint of Lost Things is a novel by Christopher Castellani that takes place in 1953 in a tight-knit Italian community situated in Wilmington, Delaware. It paints a picture of the Italian-American experience with compassion and honesty.

 

The Saint of Lost Things cover

image via amazon

 

Florida – To Have and Have not

To Have and Have Not is a novel by Ernest Hemingway set during the Depression Era. It follows protagonist Harry Morgan, a fishing boat captain out of Key West Florida.

 

image of book cover

image via amazon

 

Georgia – gone with the wind

Margaret Mitchell published Gone with the Wind, a novel set in Clayton County and Atlanta, Georgia during the American Civil War and Reconstruction Era, in 1936. Gone with the Wind received a Pulitzer Prize in Fiction in 1937 and was later adapted into a film. Gone with the Wind was the only book Margaret Mitchell published during her lifetime.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

 

Hawaii – hawaii

Named directly after the state itself, Hawaii by James Michener was published in 1959, the same year Hawaii became the fiftieth state of the U.S. With an episodic format, the novel begins with the formation of the islands and narrates the stories of all the different groups of people who arrive on the islands.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

idaho – housekeeping

Housekeeping is a novel by Marilynne Robinson, published in 1980. The novel is set in the fictional town of Fingerbone, Idaho, which has similar details to Robinson’s hometown of Sandpoint, Idaho. Housekeeping was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and was awarded the PEN/Hemingway award for best first novel. The novel was also included in TIME’s 100 Best English-Language Novels from 1923 to 2005.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

Illinois – the jungle

Upton Sinclair wrote his 1906 novel, The Jungle, to portray the exploited lives of immigrants in Chicago and other similar industrialized cities. In his book, Sinclair inadvertently exposed many health violations and unsanitary practices in the American Meatpacking Industry during the early 20th century, which led to many reforms including the Meat Inspection Act.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

Indiana – the magnificent ambersons

The second novel in his Growth trilogy, Booth Tarkington published The Magnificent Ambersons in 1918. The novel is set in a fictionalized Indianapolis with much of it inspired by the neighborhood of Woodruff Place. The Magnificent Ambersons won the 1919 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, just a year after it was published.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

iowa – a thousand acres

A Thousand Acres, by Jane Smiley, is a modernized retelling of Shakespeare’s King Lear. The novel is set on a thousand acre farm in Zebulon County, Iowa. A Thousand Acres won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction in 1991.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

 

kansas – the wonderful wizard of oz

Though this novel features the iconic line “Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore,” The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum begins and ends on a farm in Kansas. One of the greatest stories in American literature, The Library of Congress has declared the novel “America’s greatest and best-loved homegrown fairytale. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has been adapted numerous times into films, plays, comics, and more.

 

Book Cover

image via amazon

 

kentucky – uncle tom’s cabin

Another prominent novel in American Literature, Uncle Tom’s Cabin is an anti-slavery novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe. The novel begins on the Shelby plantation in Kentucky and is said to have gone on to help lay the groundwork for the Civil War. Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the bestselling novel of the 19th century and the second best-selling book of the century, after the Bible.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

louisiana – interview with the vampire

Interview with the Vampire is a gothic horror novel by Anne Rice and was published in 1976. The novel follows the vampire, Louis de Pointe du Lac, who is based in Louisiana. Rice wrote Interview with the Vampire shortly after the death of her daughter, Michelle, who serves as inspiration for the child-vampire character, Claudia.

 

Book Cover

image via amazon

 

maine – carrie

The iconic Carrie by Stephen King was released in 1974 and is set in the fictional town of Chamberlain, Maine. The novel revolves around misfit, Carrie White, who uses her newfound telekinetic powers to exact revenge on those who mistreated her. The novel has inspired many adaptations including several films, a 1988 Broadway musical, and a 2018 special episode of Riverdale.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

maryland – dinner at the homesick restaurant

Set in Baltimore, Maryland, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant was written by Anne Tyler and published in 1982. Considered her best work, by the author herself, the novel was a finalist for the 1983 Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Faulkner Award.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

 

Massachusetts – Walden

Walden, first published in 1854, was written by transcendentalist Henry David Thoreou and details his experiences over the course of two years, two months, and two days in a cabin near Concord, Massachusetts. The book closely details human growth and development and what that looks like when one lives a simple life.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

Michigan – The Virgin Suicides

Jeffrey Eugenides’s debut novel, The Virgin Suicides, was published in 1993. The novel is set in Grosse Pointe, Michigan in the 1970s and centers around the five Lisbon sisters. Most notably the film was adapted into the 1999 film of the same name, written and directed by Sofia Coppola.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

Minnesota – Main Street

Written by Sinclair Lewis and published in 1920, Main Street is a satirical novel about small town life set in Minnesota. It details the life and struggles of protagonist Carol Milford Kennicott in the small town of Gopher Prairie, Minnesota. Main Street is arguably Lewis’s most famous novel, which eventually led to the author’s 1930 Nobel Prize for Literature.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

Mississippi – The Sound and the Fury

William Faulkner’s fourth novel, The Sound and the Fury, was published in 1929 and is set in Jefferson, Mississippi. The novel uses several narration styles, including stream of consciousness. The novel was not initially a success, but eventually was ranked sixth on the list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century by the Modern Library in 1988.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

Missouri – The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Another American classic, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is the story of a young boy growing up along the Mississippi River. The novel is set in the 1840s in the fictional town of St. Petersburg, which was inspired by Hannibal, Missouri, where Twain grew up. Though originally, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was a commercial failure, it went on to become a masterpiece of American Literature.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

 

Montana – A River Runs Through It

A River Runs Through It is a semi-autobiographical account of author Norman Maclean’s relationship with his brother Paul and their childhoods in an early twentieth-century Montana family. A River Runs Through It is part of a three story collection and was the first work of fiction to be published by the University of Chicago Press.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

Nebraska – My Ántonia

My Ántonia is the final book in author Willa Cather’s ‘prairie trilogy’ of novels. My Ántonia tells the story of an orphaned boy and the eldest daughter in a family of Bohemian immigrants, who are brought to Nebraska as pioneers. The novel is considered Cather’s first masterpiece and she was praised for bringing the American West to life.

 

book cover my antonia

image via amazon

 

Nevada – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Set in Las Vegas, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a blend of fact and fiction. Author Hunter S. Thompson included vivid descriptions of illegal drug use and its retrospective on the 1960s culture. The novel follows protagonist Raoul Duke and his attorney, Dr. Ganzo, as they travel to Las Vegas to chase the American Dream.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

New Hampshire – The Hotel New Hampshire

The Hotel New Hampshire is a coming of age novel by John Irving, published in 1981. The novel is set in New Hampshire and follows the Berrys, a quirky New Hampshire family. It was adapted into a film in 1984 and stars Jodie Foster, Rob Lowe, and Beau Bridges.

 

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

New Jersey – Drown

Drown is a semi-autobiographical short story collection from author Junot Díaz. The collection takes place in both the Dominican Republic and New Jersey, where Díaz moved with his family as a young boy. This collection addresses the trials of Dominican immigrants and their attempt to achieve the American Dream.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

 

New Mexico – Red Sky at Morning

Richard Bradford’s 1968 novel, Red Sky at Morning follows protagonist Josh Arnold as he relocates from Alabama to Corazon Sagrado, New Mexico during World War II. The novel is still regarded as a classic coming-of-age story and was adapted into a film of the same name in 1971.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

New York – The Great Gatsby

Another piece of classic American Literature, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is set in Long Island, New York. Fitzgerald was inspired by the parties he had attended while visiting Long Island’s North Shore. The novel has since been adapted into everything from films, ballets, operas, plays, and more.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

North Carolina – A Walk to Remember

A classic piece of Nicholas Sparks literature, A Walk to Remember, the author’s third novel, takes place in Beaufort, North Carolina. The novel was inspired by Sparks’ sister, who died of cancer in June 2000. A Walk to Remember was later made into a film of the same name, starring Shane West and Mandy Moore.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

North Dakota – The Round House

The Round House is author Louise Erdrich’s fourteenth novel and is part of her “justice trilogy” along with Plague of Doves and LaRose. The story takes place on a Native American reservation in North Dakota and follows young protagonist, Joe, who decides to take matters into his own hands and sets out to investigate his mother’s attack.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

Ohio – The Broom of the System

The Broom of the System is author David Foster Wallace’s first novel. The novel takes place in Cleveland, Ohio and follows protagonist, Lenore Beadsman, a twenty-four year old telephone switchboard operator who has to navigate three different crises.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

 

Oklahoma – Paradise

Author Toni Morrison completed her trilogy of books dealing with all kinds of love with the release of Paradise in 1997. Paradise takes place in the fictional town of Ruby, Oklahoma and focuses on the town itself and its implications on women from a nearby Convent. Morrison originally wanted to name the novel War, but was overridden by her editor.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

Oregon – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was published in 1962 and takes place at a mental institution in Oregon. It was later adapted into both a Broadway play and a 1975 film, which won five Academy Awards. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was also included in TIME magazine’s 100 Best English-Language Novels from 1923 to 2005 list.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

Pennsylvania – The Lovely Bones

Published in 2002, The Lovely Bones is set in a suburban Pennsylvania town. The story of a girl who watches the struggles of her friends and family after being murdered and has to come to terms with her own death instantly became a bestseller. The book was adapted into a film in 2009 by Peter Jackson, who personally purchased the rights.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

Rhode Island – My Sister’s Keeper

My Sister’s Keeper takes place in the fictional town of Upper Darby, Rhode Island, and is the story of a young girl who sues her parents for medical emancipation when they ask her to donate her kidney to her sick sister. The book was later adapted into a film with an alternate ending, which went against the wishes of author Jodi Piccoult.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

South Carolina – The Secret Life of Bees

Written by Sue Monk Kidd and published in 2001, The Secret Life of Bees is set in the fictional town of Sylvan, South Carolina in 1964. It is a coming of age story that deals with loss and betrayal. It was a New York Times bestseller and was adapted into a film, noted for Queen Latifah’s critically acclaimed performance as August Boatwright.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

 

South Dakota – A Long Way from Home

Tom Brokaw’s A Long Way from Home is mostly set in South Dakota, where Tom spent his childhood and began to live out the American Dream alongside his family. A Long Way from Home is a memoir that recounts the American experience, as lived and experienced by Tom Brokaw and his family.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

Tennessee – The Firm

The Firm, by John Grisham, is set in Memphis, Tennessee and features a lawyer stuck between a rock and a hard place when the FBI comes to investigate his colleagues at a new law firm, which almost exclusively deals with unlawful clients. This novel was the second book published by Grisham and the first of his to gain wide-spread popularity. The Firm was later made into a movie starring Tom Cruise, Gene Hackman, and Jeanne Tripplehorn.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

Texas – No Country for Old Men

Originally written as a screenplay, No Country for Old Men was written by author Cormac McCarthy and published in 2005. The novel takes place near the Mexican-American border in Terrell County in Texas. No Country for Old Men was later adapted into a film of the same name, which won four Academy Awards including Best Picture.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

Utah – The 19th Wife

Inspired by the life of Ann Eliza Young, The 19th Wife is a novel by David Ebershoff and was published in 2008. The novel takes place in southern Utah and follows protagonist Jordan who tries to determine if his mother killed his father. The novel was adapted into a television movie and was aired on Lifetime.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

Vermont – Pollyanna

Considered a children’s literature classic, Pollyanna is a 1913 novel by author Eleanor H. Porter. The novel is set in the fictional town of Beldingsville, Vermont and follows young orphan Pollyanna Whittier. Since the release of the novel, ‘Pollyanna’ has come to be used as a term to describe people who are unfailingly optimistic and are naturally positive.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

Virginia – Bridge to Terabithia

Another work of children’s literature, Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson takes place in rural Virginia. It is the story of two young kids who create their own magic kingdom in the forest. Paterson drew inspiration for Bridge to Terabithia after her son’s childhood friend was killed in a freak accident. The book was most notably adapted into the 2007 film starring AnnaSophia Robb and Josh Hutcherson.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

WashingtonTwilight

A YA cult classic, Twilight takes place in Forks, Washington. The vampire-romance novel was a New York Times bestseller and was named one of Publisher Weekly’s Best Children’s Books of 2005. Twilight was later adapted into the popular film of the same name starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

West Virginia – Shiloh

Shiloh is a children’s novel by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor and is set in Friendly, West Virginia. The book follows young protagonist Marty Preston and an abused beagle he rescues from his neighbor. Shiloh won a Newbery Medal along with other state awards and was later adapted into a film of the same name in 1996.

book cover

image via amazon

 

Wisconsin – Little House in the Big Woods

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder was published in 1932. The novel takes place in Wisconsin and is based on Wilder’s childhood in Big Woods near Pepin, Wisconsin. Little House in the Big Woods was Laura Ingalls Wilder’s first book to be published and it began her Little House series.

book cover

image via amazon

 

Wyoming – The Laramie Project

The Laramie Project is a 2000 play by Moisés Kaufman and is set in Laramie, Wyoming. The play centers around the murder of a gay student at the University of Wyoming in 1998. The Laramie Project was adapted into a film, commissioned by HBO in 2002.

 

book cover

image via amazon

 

 

Featured Image Via Digital Arts

Enjoying Bookstr? Get more by joining our email list!

Bookstr is community supported. If you enjoy Bookstr’s articles, quizzes, graphics and videos, please join our Patreon to support our writers and creators or donate to our Paypal and help Bookstr to keep supporting the book loving community.
Become a Patron!

 

135 Years of ‘Huckleberry Finn’

“Right is right, and wrong is wrong, and a body ain’t got no business doing wrong when he ain’t ignorant and knows better.” – Goodreads 

Image Via Time

Mark Twain (real name Samuel Langhorne Clemens), was born on Nov. 30th in the small town of Florida, MO as the sixth child to John Marshall and Jane Lampton Clemens. When Samuel was twelve, his father died of pneumonia, and Samuel was forced to leave school to become a printer’s apprentice.

Samuel found his enjoyment of writing when he began working for Orion’s newspaper as a printer and editorial assistant. By the time he was seventeen, Samuel had left Orion’s newspaper to work for a printer in St. Louis. There he became a river pilot, which is where he adopted his pseudonym, Mark Twain, a term used by river pilots to mean “that is safe to navigate”(CMG World Wide).

 

 

Due to the lull in river trade during the Civil War in 1861, “Clemens began working as a newspaper reporter for several newspapers all over the United States”, according to CMG World Wide. Seven years later, Samuel married a woman named Olivia Langdon, and the two had four children, one of whom died in infancy, and two more in their twenties. Clara, their only surviving child, lived to be 88 years of age, with one daughter. Unfortunately, Clara’s daughter died young without having any children of her own, leaving no living descendants of Samuel Clemens.

Image Via Medium

Twain’s legacy survives, however, through his books, like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Huck Finn, as it’s often called, has been taught in schools as one of the most famous works of literature. Below is a book summary:

“A nineteenth-century boy from a Mississippi River town recounts his adventures as he travels down the river with a runaway slave, encountering a family involved in a feud, two scoundrels pretending to be royalty, and Tom Sawyer’s aunt who mistakes him for Tom.” – Goodreads

 

 

Although it is the most famous, Huck Finn, is also very controversial. It turns up in the news more often than you think for being banned or restored in the school systems. On its anniversary, I encourage you to dive in and obtain a little bit of Mark Twain’s legacy.

Bookstr is community supported. If you enjoy Bookstr’s articles, quizzes, graphics and videos, please join our Patreon to support our writers and creators or donate to our Paypal and help Bookstr to keep supporting the book loving community.
Become a Patron!

 

Featured Image Via National Post

Top 10 Literary Places to Explore in NYC!

January and February are the coldest and toughest months in New York, and if you’re feeling the blues, we got some good news to cheer you up! Because, guess what, now is the perfect time to huddle around and explore the best literary places this magnificent city has to offer all you book nerds out there! So, without further adieu, here’s a big list to keep you busy!

1. The new york public library

image via the nation

The main branch of the NYPL lives up to its hype and is just as magnificent as you would imagine. They hold interesting exhibits frequently enough and the Rose Main Reading Room is beautiful and worth a visit just to get lost in the architecture, and of course — the books!

2. the morgan library and museum

image via conde nast traveler

If you haven’t heard of this magnificent library yet, you need to change that right now! They have ongoing exhibitions all year round, including Walt Whitman, Charles Dickens and many more. Also, fun fact: Did you know this library actually belonged to the famous J.P Morgan, and was opened to the public by J.P Morgan Jr? Well, now you do!

 

3. strand book store

image via downtown magazine

Strand! Everyone’s heard of the famous bookstore and its 18 miles of books, but did you also know that they have a whole floor dedicated to banned books? How awesome is that? Also, they host frequent events, so check out their calendar to be in the loop!

4. poets house

image via pinterest

If you’re a fan of poetry, you’ll love Poets House! It’s literally a massive poetry library, free and open to the public, located in Tribeca. It has over 70,000 volumes of poetry (insane, I know!) and hosts awesome events all year round.

5. edgar allen poe cottage

image via nycgo

Fans of “The Raven” can gather around and make their way to The Bronx, where Edgar Allen Poe’s cottage still exists! Poe spent the last years of his life there and the park where its located is actually called Poe Park, how neat! It’s open to the public and gathers tons of tourists all year long, and you could be one of them too!

6. the jefferson market library

image via millie fiori

This location of the New York Public Library was actually a courthouse originally, and has served the Greenwich Village community for over 50 years! And also, the Jefferson Market Library is now considered a national monument as well, so definitely worth a visit!

 

7. bluestockings

image via bluestockings

Bluestockings is a volunteer-initiative based and collectively-owned super cool, one of a kind bookstore! They also have a fair trade cafe, and an activist center, located in the LES. The store specializes in feminism, queer and gender studies, global capitalism, climate & environment and many other pressing issues– so we’re sure you’re dying to check it out, and you should!

8. forbidden planet

image via facebook

Calling all comic nerds! Forbidden Planet, located right next to Strand, is THE place for graphic novels, figurines and T-shirts! So feel free to head your way over there and geek out to your hearts content!

9. housing works bookstore cafe

image via wikipedia

Housing Works Bookstore Cafe and Bar is a non-profit, donation based bookstore, run solely by volunteers and their proceeds go towards people affected by homelessness and AIDS. So, every time you purchase a book or a baked good from there, know that you’re giving back to the society directly! And if the great cause wasn’t a good enough reason to visit the store, know that it’s also gorgeous inside!

10. drunk shakespeare

image via nytimes

If you haven’t seen this radical show in performance yet, can you even call yourself a literary enthusiast? Drunk Shakespeare is exactly as enticing as it sounds. One actor shoots five shots of whiskey, then attempts to act as the lead in a performance of a Shakespeare play, while the other four try to keep up. It’s rowdy, literary, and wildly entertaining, and trust us when we say that you don’t want to miss this!

So, while this list keeps you busy, we’ll go compile some more cool stuff for you to do, so these dreary months don’t feel as long! Until then, keep reading!

featured image via the crazy tourist


Bookstr is community supported. If you enjoy Bookstr’s articles, quizzes, graphics and videos, please join our Patreon to support our writers and creators or donate to our PayPal and help Bookstr to keep supporting the book loving community.
Become a Patron!