The New York Times: Footsteps: From Ferrante’s Naples to Hammett’s San Francisco, Literary Pilgrimages Around the World

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Writers tread where writers trod. Footsteps gathers a longtime series of New York Times columns together in a book. The articles range across the globe, introducing favorite authors one by one in their homes or surroundings.

There’s the reckless Mark Twain on the rim of a Hawaiian volcano, practical Mary Oliver hiding pencils in the trees in case she gets caught short with a new line of poetry while roaming her neighborhood forest, the personable wannabe louche Christopher Isherwood reveling in Berlin, and James Baldwin challenging Paris. Monica Drake invites readers to a party of “celebs” from then and now, and most of her guests rise to the occasion, but a few suffer the sparkle of flat champagne.

Writers are approached from different starting points. For several, the project transformed a vacation into a pilgrimage, for others the chosen author was less familiar and didn’t always recruit a new admirer.

Footsteps deserves more than a single read-through and is better savored one or two pieces at a time. Whether preferring domestic or foreign, all have a distinctive appeal, and Innisfree still heads many bucket lists.


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Author New York Times
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 304 pages
Publisher Three Rivers Press
Publish Date 2017-May-09
ISBN 9780804189842
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue August 2017
Category Reference
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