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Dzanc Books is a literary nonprofit press out of Ann Arbor Michigan that publishes literary fiction and nonfiction and hosts the literary journal The Collagist.

Imagined Places: Journeys into Literary America, by Michael Pearson

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Imagined Places: Journeys into Literary America, by Michael Pearson

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Imagined Places: Journeys into Literary America, by Michael Pearson

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Description

Michael Pearson writes about his travels to places of literary import: Frost's Vermont, Faulkner's Mississippi, Flannery O'Connor's Georgia, Hemingway's Key West, Steinbeck's California, and Twain's Missouri.

Praise

From Library Journal

When Emily Dickinson wrote "There is no Frigate like a Book," she acknowledged what most readers take as fact: literature can and usually does "take us Lands away." Pearson has done what we would like to do. Armed with a solid understanding of the work of Frost, Faulkner, O'Connor, Hemingway, Twain, and Steinbeck, he set out to visit the physical sites these authors used to shape their literary geographies. The journey makes for interesting reading, although now and then bits of amateurish analysis distracts from his valuable observations on the creative process. However, this sturdy ship is sure to be seaworthy. Recommended. (Photos not seen.)-- Vincent D. Balitas, Allentown Coll., Center Valley, Pa.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Pearson (English and Journalism/Old Dominion Univ.) recounts, in a series of charming informal essays, his experiences visiting six places with literary associations--Frost's Vermont, Faulkner's Mississippi, Flannery O'Connor's Georgia, Hemingway's Key West, Steinbeck's California, and Twain's Missouri. Although each chapter includes a biography of the author and a history of the place, all carefully researched with familiar citations, this is neither a literary nor a travel book, for the emphasis falls on the unexpected people and experiences Pearson found as he went in search of his literary prototypes. In Vermont, he finds TV producer Norman Lear living on Frost's farm, and in a village near Manchester, Barbara Comfort, artist, mystery writer, and inventor of, among other things, an edible toothpick. In Mississippi, Pearson comes across Mahatma Gandhi's grandson, and while few remember O'Connor in Milledgeville, Georgia, Pearson learns a lot about the serial murders there that became the subject of Pete Dexter's Paris Trout. In Hemingway's Key West he finds ``Papa's'' old sparring and drinking partners, businessmen thriving on the real-estate market, and a lady who prospers from designing silk pajamas for Bill Cosby. Salinas, California, is still Steinbeck country, home to Steinbeck's laborers, landscape, and a restaurant where ``each waitress could pass for Steinbeck's mother.'' Perhaps the only place that should have been left in Pearson's dreams is Hannibal, where he took his two young sons to discover a shabby, depressed area surviving on tourists. Clemens Field, a recreation spot, retains the walls and barbed wire from when it was a camp for German POWs. Pearson's descriptions and interviews are first-rate, but his literary allusions are often strained (in part because many of the places are not important in the literature), as is, occasionally, his writing: ``the sunshine is as thick as melted butter.'' Still, a pleasant read, full of rich anecdote and detail. (Thirty b&w photographs--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

ABOUT MICHAEL PEARSON

Michael Pearson teaches creative writing and American literature at Old Dominion University. He has published essays and stories in The Boston Globe, The Baltimore Sun, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Southern Literary Journal, Shenandoah Review, and Creative Nonfiction, among many others. He is the author of five nonfiction books - Imagined Places: Journeys into Literary America (1991 -- listed as a notable book by The New York Times Book Review), A Place That's Known: Essays (1994), John McPhee (1997), Dreaming of Columbus: A Boyhood in the Bronx (1999) and, most recently, Innocents Abroad Too (2008), which recounts two journeys around the world by ship on the Semester at Sea Program. Pearson has also written a novel, Shohola Falls (2003), a coming-of-age narrative that imagines the hidden life of Mark Twain and the journal of Thomas Blankenship, the real-life Huck Finn. Willie Morris, the former editor of Harper's said, "Michael Pearson is one of our nation's finest memoirists."