The Literary United States: A Map of the Best Book for Every State
Two weeks ago, we published a literary map of Brooklyn, highlighting the books we felt best represented the neighborhoods in which they were set. Compiling the list of books for that map had us thinking about what it means for a story to not just be from a place, but also of it, and why it is that some places have an abundance of literary riches (we’re looking at you, American South), while others, well, don’t. And we had seen other maps pairing books with states, but those maps tend to signify the fame level of the books rather than their literary merit; they also tend to be dominated by white men, most of them dead. And Margaret Mitchell. We wanted to do better. We wanted to come up with a list that was more than just a general reflection of a place, but rather paid attention to the specifics, even at the risk of the exclusion of the whole.