LITERATURE

A Literary Guide to Washington, DC: Walking in the Footsteps of American Writers from Francis Scott Key to Zora Neale Hurston

Univ. of Virginia. Jun. 2018. 248p. photos. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780813941165. $50; pap. ISBN 9780813941172. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780813941189. TRAV
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This guide to American writers in Washington, DC, offers readers a chance to walk the path of literary greats such as Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston. Arranged by time period, the volume covers the years 1800–1930. "Beginnings 1800–1861" showcases four of DC's earliest literary figures with brief biographies, pictures, and poems. The remaining three chapters include the biographical information, plus a map and a guide to the area. The first tour is Whitman's downtown from the Civil War era, 1861–65. The map is labeled with the 11 destinations featured on the tour followed by a detailed description of each stop. Descriptions are brief but still bring the past to life. Relevant literary excerpts further strengthen the writerly connection. Following the tour descriptions, Roberts highlights the figures mentioned in the tour with a biographical sketch and photograph.
VERDICT The perfect accompaniment for a literature-inspired vacation in the U.S. capital. The compact size, clearly labeled maps, and succinct, informative text make this a handy guide to slip into your suitcase.

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