Famous Literary Sites

atkins-bookshelf-literatureThe title of one of Thomas Wolfe’s most famous novels, You Can’t Go Home Again (1940), captures succinctly the essence of the novel. The protagonist, George Webber, writes a novel about his hometown; but its residents immediately dismissed the traditional fiction disclaimer. You know the one — “Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales.” Needless to say, they are quite peeved with Webber. Like Gatsby, Webber learns that he cannot repeat his past: “You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood … back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame… back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time – back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.” No wonder, the title has become such a popular catchphrase, understood by so many who have never read the book.

Although famous authors can’t go home again, their fans can certainly go to their homes — especially if the authors’ birthplaces or homes have been transformed into heritage sites or better yet, museums complete with gift shops, to honor their life and work. The folks at have traveled around the globe to create a list of 50 famous literary sites that merit a visit by adoring fans. It’s time to go home! Here is a selection of some famous literary sites:

Jorge Luis Borges’s hometown, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Truman Capote’s apartment, Brooklyn, New York
Willa Cather’s childhood home, Red Cloud, Nebraska
Charles Dickens Museum, London, England
Emily Dickinson Museum, Amherst, Massachusetts
William Faulkner’s home, Oxford, Missouri
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s birthplace, St. Paul, Minnesota
Ernest Hemingway’s Birthplace and Museum, Oak Park, Illinois
O. Henry House and Museum, Austin, Texas
James Joyce’s birthplace, Rathgar, Dublin
H.P. Lovecraft’s hometown, Providence, Rhode Island
Herman Melville’s grave, Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York
Margaret Mitchell House and Museum, Atlanta, Georgia
Friedrich Nietzsche, Sils-Maria, Switzerland
Flannery O’Connor’s childhood home, Savannah, Georgia
Edgar Allan Poe Museum, Richmond, Virginia
Henry David Thoreau’s Walden Pond, Concord, Massachusetts
Leo Tolstoy’s home, Tula, Russia
Mark Twain’s boyhood Home and Museum, Hannibal, Missouri
Mark Twain’s House & Museum, Hartford, Connecticut
John Updike’s home, Shillington, Pennsylvania
Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, Indianapolis, Indiana
Edith Wharton’s home, Lenox, Massachusetts
Oscar Wilde’s childhood home, Dublin, Ireland

Read related posts: 50 Books That Will Change Your Life
The Books that Shaped America
Why Study Literature?
What is the Most Influential Book in the World?

For further reading:


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