Tag Archives: Elizabeth Strout

Placing Literature Adds Maine Locations

Maine collection includes works by Stephen King, E.B. White and Henry W. Longfellow as well as the 3,000th literary location mapped on the website by users around the world

NEW HAVEN, CONN., Feb. 2, 2016—Placing Literature (PlacingLiterature.com) today launched a literary map of Maine that allows readers to browse, visit and share the sites of famous (and not so famous) scenes from Maine literature. The data was sourced from the Maine Sunday Telegram (a part of MaineToday Media) and includes nearly 100 literary places from such authors as Henry W. Longfellow, Stephen King, E.B. White and Elizabeth Strout.

Placing Literature is the global clearinghouse for location-based literary information, collecting crowdsourced information about books and the locations where they take place—and displaying them all on an interactive world map. Since launching in June 2013, readers, educators, librarians and authors have mapped more than 3,000 places from novels, short stories, poems and plays ranging from Shakespeare to Kerouac.

Maine_070716“Maine is quintessentially American and has been the setting for some of the most-loved American novels,” said CEO and Co-Founder Andrew Bardin Williams. “The opportunity to virtually explore literary places gives readers a greater understanding of the books they are reading while enhancing people’s appreciation of the fabulous places in the great state of Maine.”

Each place card on Placing Literature provides rich content about the book, the scene and the place where each plot point occurs. For example, clicking on a marker near Penobscot reveals the farm where E.B. White set Charlotte’s Web. Across the state, you can explore the section of the Appalachian Trail where Red Sox fan Trisha McFarland gets lost in Stephen King’s The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. Along the eastern border with Canada lies a marker for the former Houlton Army Air Base where nine-year-old Clare works side-by-side with German prisoner-of-wars in the potato harvest in Ethel Pochoki’s A Penny for a Hundred.

On each card, visitors can view a photo of the location, search Google and Wikipedia for more information on the place, purchase the book from a local bookstore, write a review on Goodreads, share the place on social media, report an error and even check in, indicating that they’ve been to that particular location.

The Literary Map of Maine was originally compiled by the Maine Sunday Telegram in partnership with several libraries and cultural organizations throughout the state in 2008. Readers submitted entries and an eight-member committee narrowed the selection to 50 places—which has since grown to 100 places. The paper has given permission to republish the literary places on PlacingLiterature.com.

Placing Literature plans to launch additional collections of literary places and is putting out a request for data. Libraries, universities, cultural organizations and researchers should contact info@placingliterature.com if they have existing data or would like to work with Placing Literature to create content for local programming.


About Placing Literature

Placing Literature (PlacingLiterature.com) is a crowdsourcing website that maps literary scenes that take place in real locations. Map a scene from your favorite novel or explore the literature of a place at PlacingLiterature.com. Follow us at Facebook.com/PlacingLiterature and twitter.com/PlacingLit.

Tags: #PlacingLiterature, #literaryroadtrip, #maps, #literarymaps, #Maine, #literaryMaine, #MaineSundayTelegram, #MaineToday

Mapping Olive Kitteridge

One of the best features of our Author Spotlight series is when our featured authors map a novel that has inspired them. The authors’ choices say a lot about their own writing. Who would have guessed that Hugh Howey was influenced by Battlefield Earth? Or that Mark Haskell Smith was inspired to write after reading The Talented Mr. Ripley?

This month we were pleased as punch that Susan Kietzman, our our R.J. Julia’s Author Spotlight for April, is mapping Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2009, Olive Kitteridge follows a quirky junior high math teacher who lives in a seemingly-sleepy town on the coast of Maine. However, the town of Crosby is anything but as Olive and the large cast of supporting townspeople come to realize.

The novel is one of Kietzman’s favorites, and she has great admiration for Elizabeth Strout’s writing style. “Her characters are so alive for the reader, they feel like relatives or close friends,” she says. And that makes sense. Kietzman is also known for her rich characters in The Good Life and her new novel, A Changing Marriage.

While Crosby is a fictional town, Kietzman has always had the feeling that the Strout based the small town setting on Belfast, a real town on the coast near Bangor. Many of the fictional places in the novel seem similar to real places around Belfast.

Check out Kietzman’s Olive Kitteridge map, help fill out the additional scenes and let us know how she did.