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Shelley Fishkin's conversation with Higher Ed about "Writing America"

October 16, 2015

The best writers bring places, real and imagined, to life. Think of John Steinbeck's vivid depictions of the dust bowl in the 1930s or Margaret Atwood's outlandish speculative other worlds. In her new book, Writing America: Literary Landmarks From Walden Pond to Wounded Knee (Rutgers University Press), Shelley Fisher Fishkin looks at the reverse process: how places shape writers and their work.Writing America mines the National Register of Historic Places for insight into the intersection between the physical world and the literary. She describes more than 100 sites where writers lived, wrote or fostered some kind of link, allowing Fishkin "to recall, rethink or revisit literature that mattered to [her]."