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The Literary Map of Brooklyn

“Map or no map,” I says, “yuh ain’t gonna get to know Brooklyn wit no map,” I says.
—Thomas Wolfe, “Only the Dead Know Brooklyn”

Brooklyn has played a central role in American literary history. Brooklynites have been among the most influential poets (Walt Whitman, Marianne Moore), novelists (Henry Miller, Bernard Malamud), nonfiction writers (Truman Capote, Norman Mailer), playwrights (Arthur Miller) and children’s authors (Maurice Sendak, Ezra Jack Keats) in American letters. Today, Brooklyn is arguably the literary capital of the country, with writers such as Paul Auster, Jonathan Lethem, Jhumpa Lahiri and Colson Whitehead calling the borough home.

Brooklyn has also been the backdrop to important novels, poems, reportage, plays, and children’s books, often acting as a central subject or character.

The Literary Map of Brooklyn seeks to place Brooklyn’s impressive literary tradition into a geographic context, combining landmarks (birthplaces, residences) with excerpts from poetry, fiction, non-fiction and children’s literature.

Help us build the map!

We invite you to help us build the literary map by submitting literary excerpts or information, the more geographically specific the better, by writing us at literarymap@brooklynpubliclibrary.org. Published authors are encouraged to submit their own work.

Please include a citation for any quotes or information you provide.

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