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This Literary U.S. Map Reveals Where Great American Novels Are Set, State By State

This Literary U.S. Map Reveals Where Great American Novels Are Set, State By State

As John Edwards famously said during his doomed political campaign in 2003, there are two Americas. During each modern presidential election, it’s a thoroughly disorienting experience to look around and realize that nearly 50% of the country shares beliefs that are the diametric opposite of your beliefs. Considering how fractured the U.S. is, it’s become more difficult than ever to write a unified Great American Novel. A new map of the U.S., however, highlights how some pieces become Great American Novels by the virtue of how well they represented one specific location.

Created by Philadelphia-based Hog Island Press print shop, the new Great American Novel map showcases the locations of 42 esteemed works of fiction. It’s a sweeping survey of how much region-defining drama has resonated throughout the nation’s history. In some cases, the GAN designation is kind of a stretch. (The Shining is a great read, obviously, but Great, it ain’t.) Overall, however, the map is a reminder that understanding more about the pieces that make up the whole might help the two Americas resemble each other more.

[via Laughing Squid]JB