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Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Literary Guide to the World

Have you all seen this? I just found it, and am enamored!'s Literary Guide to the World features guides on the literature ("fiction, history, memoir or otherwise") of locations all over the world. Salon's book editor, Hilary Frey, thought of the idea when a friend gave her a copy of City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi by William Dalyrmple to read during her trip to India. The book, she says "became my traveling companion -- pointing out the sites, teaching me Delhi's complicated and storied history, cracking jokes that were much funnier in India than at home. Dalrymple, even more than Mr. Vijay, who ran our very necessary car service, showed me the city. His book was indispensable -- and a delight."

After her trip, The Literary Guide to the World was born. This summer, two new locations are chosen each week; in the fall one will be profiled. From Zimbabwe to The Alps to Havana to Armenia, each article recommends the best books from those who know these places first-hand.

As a Philadelphia native, I was especially impressed to see The Jersey Shore on the list. In my opinion, you haven't lived until your slice of Mack & Manco pizza has been stolen from right near your face by a seagull on the boardwalk. Or, until you've read about it.

In somewhat related news, London has been named the top literary destination in a top-ten list from Reuters. Says Publishers Weekly about the verdict, "Whoever made up this list is a literary dunce. In fact, London had to import most of its famous writers (let’s start with Shaw and Wilde) from Dublin. There have been more quality writers in the last century per square block in Dublin and New York than any other place in the world. James Joyce and Norman Mailer, celestial drinking pals, are reportedly livid."

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