Like most avid readers I’m sure, I like to visit the homes of famous authors. But as April Bernard asks in this piece titled “Here’s What I Hate About Writer’s Houses” from the New York Review of Books, just what are we looking for?
“Hereâ€™s what I hate about Writersâ€™ Houses: the basic mistakes. That art can be understood by examining the chewed pencils of the writer. That visiting such a house can substitute for reading the work. That real estate, including our own envious attachments to houses that are better, or cuter, or more inspiring than our own, is a worthy preoccupation. That writers can or should be sanctified. That private life, even of the dead, is ours to plunder.”
However, for those who wish to continue their visits to their favorite writers’ homes, Bernard recommends the website, writershouses.com. One of my favorite visits has been to Mark Twain’s boyhood home in Hannibal, Missouri.
If you really want to get close to a former writer’s home, consider buying Truman Capote’s townhome in Brooklyn Heights. It’s been on the market for well over a year.