America has produced some of the world’s literary greats and the chance to walk in their footsteps has to be an absolute pleasure for anyone interested in reading or writing about their work.
From the cities of the east coast to the sandy beaches of the west, there are so many experiences that this country brings to travellers that even the least creative person couldn’t fail to be inspired.
If you’re a fan of American literature or you just fancy checking out a few of the places that have produced some of the world’s greatest authors then check out the top ten list below that will no doubt give you plenty of food for thought.
There’s no point beating around the bush and the author of the Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men and East of Eden has to be held aloft as one of America’s all-time favourite authors. Born in Salinas, California, anyone wishing to discover what inspired John Steinbeck need travel no further than Monterrey to find out more.
Don’t mess around with the latest movies about Jack Kerouac, just read his work to find out what made this king of the Beat Generation tick. Born in New England but famed for writing about San Francisco, Denver and New York, in the novel On the Road, this is indeed a poet and author who inspired and continues to inspire budding writers across the globe.
Born just outside of Chicago and famed for works, such as: For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Old Man and the Sea and A Farewell to Arms, Hemingway is just one of those characters who will not disappear into the literary wilderness. For anyone wishing to follow in his footsteps on their USA tours then just head to Key West in Florida and you’ll be sure to find out more.
F Scott Fitzgerald
Of course, the new film The Great Gatsby will no doubt be at the foremost of most people’s minds when mentioning Fitzgerald but other written works such as Tender is the Night and short story collections, such as Tales of the Jazz Age, are equally as important. Born in New England but obviously anyone wishing to walk in this man’s footsteps needs to head for New York, especially Long Island.
Humour plays a large part in most American authors’ work and none more so than Mark Twain the writer of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Born in Florida but better associated with Hannibal, Missouri, where he grew up, anyone hoping to soak up the aura of one of America’s greatest novelists need look no further than the muddy banks of the Mississippi.
Hunter S Thompson
There’s always been an allure to America’s authors that’s ended with a slight leaning to madness and nothing could be more apt for the Kentucky born journalist and founder of Gonzo, Hunter S Thompson. From Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to the Rum Diary and Hell’s Angels, anyone wishing to walk in this great man’s shoes may want to invest in some kind of medical insurance.
Edgar Allan Poe
Dark and mysterious best describe the often macabre works of Edgar Allan Poe and if you’re wishing to discover where such thoughts stem from then head to the east coast, in particular Boston, to find out more. The Tell-Tale Heart, the Raven and The Fall of the House of Usher are all recommended reading but only with the light on and the windows firmly bolted.
The first female author on the list is Alice Walker who wrote one of the greatest ever American novels, The Colour Purple. The book takes place in Walker’s home state of Georgia and is a must for anyone interested in learning about what it was like to be an uneducated black female growing up in the deep south.
J D Salinger
Nowhere else other than New York City is required to explore the motivations and the inspiration behind Salinger’s infamous work, The Catcher in the Rye. Featuring themes around teenage angst and alienation meant that Salinger’s novel became incredibly well-read amongst a young audience and if you ever find yourself alone and walking the streets of a big city then just buy yourself a copy of Catcher and devour the content.
The final author and the second female writer on this list is Harper Lee the prize-winning creator of To Kill a Mockingbird. Born in America’s south-east state of Alabama, Lee’s one and only novel centres around events that occurred in her up-bringing in the deep south and anyone wishing to find out more need look no further than her home town of Monroeville for a fascinating insight.