Some of the greatest stories of American literature are the stories of the authors themselves and the places that sparked their imaginations.

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A Journey Through Literary America

by Thomas R. Hummel and Photography by Tamra L. Dempsey

This award-winning 304 page coffee table book takes a look at 26 of America’s great authors and the places that inspired them. Unique to this book of literary biography is the element of the photograph. With over 140 photographs throughout, the images add mood and dimension to the writing – and they are often shockingly close to what the featured authors described in their own words. Lushly illustrated, and beautifully designed, the book is as much of a pleasure to look at as it is to read.

This is a volume for the literary enthusiast, the armchair traveler or the intrepid reader. It is a handsome and beautifully illustrated companion for those who seek to learn more about authors they have read and those who wish to discover new writers.

It’s the perfect gift for book lovers.

Rave Reviews

A Journey Through Literary America

A Journey Through
Literary America

by Thomas R. Hummel and Photography by Tamra L. Dempsey

Some of the greatest stories of American literature are the stories of the authors themselves and the places that sparked their imaginations.

This award-winning 304-page coffee table book takes a look at 26 of America’s great authors and the places that inspired them. Unique to this book of literary biography is the element of the photograph. With over 140 photographs throughout, the images add mood and dimension to the writing – and they are often shockingly close to what the featured authors described in their own words. Lushly illustrated, and beautifully designed, the book is as much of a pleasure to look at as it is to read.

This is a volume for the literary enthusiast, the armchair traveler or the intrepid reader. It is a handsome and beautifully illustrated companion for those who seek to learn more about authors they have read and those who wish to discover new writers.

It’s the perfect gift for book lovers.

Share With Your Friends

Beginnings

WASHINGTON IRVING (1783-1859)
JAMES FENIMORE COOPER (1789-1851)
The Catskills, New York

Beginnings

WASHINGTON IRVING (1783-1859)
JAMES FENIMORE COOPER (1789-1851)
The Catskills, New York

But the place I mean is next to the river, where one of the ridges juts out a little from the rest, and where the rocks fall, for the best part of a thousand feet, so much up and down, that a man standing on their edges is fool enough to think he can jump from top to bottom.”

“What do you see when you get there?” asked Edwards.

“Creation,” said Natty, dropping the end of his rod into the water, and sweeping one hand around him in a circle: “all creation, lad.”

James Fenimore Cooper
The Pioneers, 1823

ALL CREATION — Catskill Mountains, New York
The glittering line of the Hudson River at dawn, as seen from the jagged cliffs of the Escarpment. From this point, James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking (Natty) fancied he could see “all creation.”

New England: Her Early Leafs

RALPH WALDO EMERSON (1803–1882)
HENRY DAVID THOREAU (1817-1862)
Concord, Massachusetts

NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE (1804–1864)
Concord, Salem & the Berkshires, Massachusetts

HERMAN MELVILLE (1819–1891)
New Bedford & the Berkshires, Massachusetts

ROBERT FROST (1874–1963)
Vermont & New Hampshire

ALL CREATION — Catskill Mountains, New York
The glittering line of the Hudson River at dawn, as seen from the jagged cliffs of the Escarpment. From this point, James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking (Natty) fancied he could see “all creation.”

New England:
Her Early Leafs

RALPH WALDO EMERSON (1803–1882)
& HENRY DAVID THOREAU (1817-1862)
Concord, Massachusetts

NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE (1804–1864)
Concord, Salem & the Berkshires, Massachusetts

HERMAN MELVILLE (1819–1891)
New Bedford & the Berkshires, Massachusetts

ROBERT FROST (1874–1963)
Vermont & New Hampshire

It is a soothing employment, on one of those fine days in the fall when all the warmth of the sun is fully appreciated, to sit on a stump on such a height as this, overlooking the pond, and study the dimpling circles which are incessantly inscribed on its otherwise invisible surface amid the reflected skies and trees.”

Henry David Thoreau
Walden, 1854

REFLECTIONS — Concord, Massachusetts
Walden Pond. In the 1700’s, Walden Woods was a hideout for fugitives. By the 1820’s, the once-forbidding woods and pond had become a place of profound inspiration.

Reeling Westward:
From the Pioneer Spirit to the “Turn of the World”

WILLA CATHER (1873–1947)
Red Cloud, Nebraska

WALLACE STEGNER (1909–1993)
Leadville, Colorado • New Almaden, California & the West

JOHN STEINBECK (1902–1968)
Monterey, Pacific Grove & Salinas, California

ROBINSON JEFFERS (1887–1962)
Carmel & Big Sur, California

REFLECTIONS — Concord, Massachusetts
Walden Pond. In the 1700’s, Walden Woods was a hideout for fugitives. By the 1820’s, the once-forbidding woods and pond had become a place of profound inspiration.

Reeling Westward:
From the Pioneer Spirit to the “Turn of the World”

WILLA CATHER (1873–1947)
Red Cloud, Nebraska
WALLACE STEGNER (1909–1993)
Leadville, Colorado • New Almaden, California & the West
JOHN STEINBECK (1902–1968)
Monterey, Pacific Grove & Salinas, California
ROBINSON JEFFERS (1887–1962)
Carmel & Big Sur, California

As I looked about me I felt that the grass was the country, as the water is the sea. The red of the grass made all the great prairie the color of wine-stains, or of certain seaweeds when they are first washed up. And there was so much motion in it…”

Willa Cather
My Ántonia, 1918

GRASS IS TO COUNTRY AS WATER IS TO SEA — Red Cloud, Nebraska
The 610 acre Willa Cather Memorial Prairie preserves an example of the native grassland that once covered Nebraska.

Not Forgotten: Yoknapatawpha to Altamont

WILLIAM FAULKNER (1897–1962)
Oxford, Mississippi

THOMAS WOLFE (1900–1938)
Asheville, North Carolina

GRASS IS TO COUNTRY AS WATER IS TO SEA — Red Cloud, Nebraska
The 610 acre Willa Cather Memorial Prairie preserves an example of the native grassland that once covered Nebraska.

Not Forgotten: Yoknapatawpha to Altamont

WILLIAM FAULKNER (1897–1962)
Oxford, Mississippi
THOMAS WOLFE (1900–1938)
Asheville, North Carolina

The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

Willaim Faulkner
Requiem for a Nun, 1951

THOMAS WOLFE MEMORIAL — Asheville, North Carolina

Main Streets: Gopher Prairie, Minnesota to Winesburg, Ohio

SINCLAIR LEWIS (1885–1951)
Sauk Centre, Minnesota

SHERWOOD ANDERSON (1876–1941)
Clyde, Ohio

THOMAS WOLFE MEMORIAL — Asheville, North Carolina

Main Streets:
Gopher Prairie, Minnesota to Winesburg, Ohio

SINCLAIR LEWIS (1885–1951)
Sauk Centre, Minnesota
SHERWOOD ANDERSON (1876–1941)
Clyde, Ohio

George Willard stops tremblingly by a picket fence under a streetlamp, reflecting: “I must get myself in touch with something orderly and big that swings through the night like a star.”

Sherwood Anderson
“An Awakening” Winesburg, Ohio, 1919

— Clyde, Ohio

The Inner Migration: What Happens to a Dream

LANGSTON HUGHES (1902–1967)
Harlem, New York

TONI MORRISON (1931–    )
Lorain, Ohio

RITA DOVE (1952–    )
Akron, Ohio

— Clyde, Ohio

The Inner Migration: What Happens to a Dream

LANGSTON HUGHES (1902–1967)
Harlem, New York
TONI MORRISON (1931–    )
Lorain, Ohio
RITA DOVE (1952–    )
Akron, Ohio

We build our temples for tomorrow, as strong as we know how
and we stand on the top of the mountain, free within ourselves.”

Langston Hughes
“The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain”
The Nation, 1926

Harlem lights glitter in the background of the George Washington Bridge over the Hudson River — New York, New York

Twentieth Century Excursions

HENRY MILLER (1891–1980)
Brooklyn, New York

ERNEST HEMINGWAY (1899–1961)
Horton Bay & Walloon Lake, Michigan

FLANNERY O’CONNOR (1925–1964)
Milledgeville, Georgia

JOHN UPDIKE (1932–2009)
Shillington, Plowville & Reading, Pennsylvania

PHILIP ROTH (1933–2018)
Newark & Mendham, New Jersey

RAYMOND CARVER (1938–1988)
Yakima & Port Angeles, Washington

E. ANNIE PROULX (1935– )
Wyoming

RICHARD FORD (1944– )
Princeton, Hopewell, Pennington & the Shore, New Jersey

Harlem lights glitter in the background of the George Washington Bridge over the Hudson River — New York, New York

Twentieth Century Excursions

HENRY MILLER (1891–1980)
Brooklyn, New York
ERNEST HEMINGWAY (1899–1961)
Horton Bay & Walloon Lake, Michigan
FLANNERY O’CONNOR (1925–1964)
Milledgeville, Georgia
JOHN UPDIKE (1932–2009)
Shillington, Plowville & Reading, Pennsylvania
PHILIP ROTH (1933–2018)
Newark & Mendham, New Jersey
RAYMOND CARVER (1938–1988)
Yakima & Port Angeles, Washington
E. ANNIE PROULX (1935– )
Wyoming
RICHARD FORD (1944– )
Princeton, Hopewell, Pennington & the Shore, New Jersey

The manmade horizon, the brutal cut in the body of the giant city—it felt as though they were entering the shadow world of hell, when all the boy was seeing was the railroad’s answer to the populist crusade to hoist the tracks above the grade crossings so as to end the crashes and the pedestrian carnage.”

Philip Roth
American Pastoral, 1997

HOISTED TRACKS — Newark, New Jersey

Appendix :: Literary Destinations & Map

View addresses and reading recommendations for the authors and locales within A Journey Through Literary America. We encourage you to use the book and this website to launch your own journey into literary America.

A Journey Through Literary America

$35.00

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Description

Explore the fascinating stories of 26 great American authors with images of the places that inspired them to write. It’s the perfect gift for book lovers. With over 140 photographs throughout, the images add mood and dimension to the writing – and they are often shockingly close to what the featured authors described in their own words. Lushly illustrated, and beautifully designed, the book is as much of a pleasure to look at as it is to read.

This is a volume for the literary enthusiast, the armchair traveler or the intrepid reader. It is a handsome and beautifully illustrated companion for those who seek to learn more about authors they have read and those who wish to discover new writers.

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