Literary Tourism

I recently posted about possible plans in upstate New York for an “American Tragedy” reality tour of sorts, and we’ve also featured stories about other literary landmarks. Just like other types of “favorite sons” (or daughters, as the case may be), an author’s hometown can bring a lot of attention (and tourism dollars) to even the smallest town. Many times, the places where an author lived and worked play a big factor into the style and subject matter of the writing. Author hometowns, literary landmarks and the backdrops to our favorite stories are a source of pride for the residents who share the connection and a source of information and fascination for literature buffs the world over.

Here are two pretty interesting items I ran across this week. They may come in handy if you need to take an impromptu road trip.

–Tomorrow, July 19th, kicks off the 25th Annual Hemingway Days festival in Key West, Florida. The festival runs through Sunday and includes a Hemingway look-alike contest, fishing tournament and several readings, as well as a short story contest. On July 21 (Papa’s birthday, mind you), the local museum will unveil a life-sized bronze statue of Hemingway.

–A great Associated Press article is making the rounds on a “reader’s pilgrimage” through the state of Maine. Turns out, there are quite a few literary connections in Maine, from Edna St. Vincent-Millay to Thoreau — not to mention Stephen King and several others. The article by Beth Harpaz shares the highlights and provides some great information should you decide to make the trek.

So, those are my two lit-tourism spots for this week. Do you find yourself seeking out literary landmarks in your travels? What author connections do you have in your hometown or state (or country)? If so, tell us if it’s worth the trip.

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