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Writer's home

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The James Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio

Writers' homes (sometimes writer's, author's or literary houses) are locations where writers lived. Frequently, these homes are preserved as historic house museums and literary tourism destinations, called writer's home museums, especially when the homes are those of famous literary figures. Frequently these buildings are preserved to communicate to visitors more about the author than their work and its historical context.[1] These exhibits are a form of biographical criticism. Visitors of the sites who are participating in literary tourism, are often fans of the authors, and these fans find deep emotional and physical connections to the authors through their visits.[1]

Sites include a range of activities common to cultural heritage sites, such as living history, museum exhibits, guided tours and poetry readings.[1] New York Times commentator Anne Trubek counted 73 such houses in the United States.[2]

The tradition of preserving houses or sites important to famous authors has a long history: in the 14th century Petrarch's birthplace was preserved, despite Petrarch barely spending time there as a child.[2] In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century France, photojournalism which represented authors homes created an increased public interest in writers' private lives, making their homes destinations.[3]

The public popular imagination around these literary homes is a central theme of the satirical novel An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England.[4]

Notable homes


See also



  1. ^ a b c d e "Visitors can learn much from famous writers' houses – The Boston Globe". BostonGlobe.com. Retrieved 2015-11-18.
  2. ^ a b c d Trubek, Anne (2010-10-15). "Read My Book? Tour My House". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-11-18.
  3. ^ Emery, Elizabeth (2012-01-01). Photojournalism and the Origins of the French Writer House Museum (1881–1914): Privacy, Publicity, and Personality. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 9781409408772.
  4. ^ Maslin, Janet (2007-09-10). "Burn Down a Poet's House, and the Mail Just Pours In". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-11-18.

Further reading