Thursday, June 01, 2023

Mapping 1,001 American Novels

1,001 Novels: A Library of America is an interactive literary map of America. A map on which over one thousand novels have been plotted based on the geographical 'heart' of each story. 

'1,001 Novels: A Library of America' is a project of love created by Susan Straight, a novelist and professor at UC Riverside. Over the course of five years, Susan read and mapped 1,001 novels set in the United States. The resulting interactive map allows you to explore American novels by region, plot, and theme.

Straight's goal in mapping over one thousand American novels was to "tell the story of America through its literature." She believes that novels can provide a unique window into the lives of people from different parts of the country and different eras. By mapping the novels, Straight also hoped to create a tool that can help readers discover new books and learn more about the history and culture of the United States.

As a result of reading and mapping 1.001 American novels Susan developed a sense of 11 distinct regions in the United States. These regions are based on the physical geography of the United States, as well as the cultural and historical traditions of each region. In the Esri Story Map 1,001 Novels: A Library of America you can explore each of these 11 regions and the novels that are set in each region. Susan Straight believes that these regions provide a unique lens through which to view American literature. By exploring the novels set in each region, it is possible to gain a deeper understanding of the diversity of American life and culture.

The Esri Story map also includes a complete map of all 1.001 novels set across all regions of the United States. The location setting in each novel has been determined by references in the books themselves, from what authors have said and from asking some of the authors themselves where they believe the heart of their books might be.

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