A writer's refuge
A must-have for any bibliophile, American Writers at Home, co-published by the Library of America and the Vendome Press, provides a peek into the private lives of 21 famous literary figures. Taking readers on a coast-to-coast tour, this wonderful book visits the painstakingly preserved homes of a wide range of writers. From Eugene O'Neill's elegant, understated residence in Danville, California, to Washington Irving's charming cottage in Tarrytown, New York, the volume presents a liberal cross section of authors, regions and eras. Photographer Erica Lennard provides captivating portraits of each artist's workspace, illuminating the day-to-day routines of American favorites like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frederick Douglass, Emily Dickinson and Edith Wharton. The text by poet J.D. McClatchy includes fascinating anecdotes about the domestic habits and working methods of each figure. The breathtaking visuals, showcasing typewriters, parchment, manuscripts and other tools of the trade, combined with McClatchy's commentary, make the book an intriguing meditation on the importance of personal space to the creative lives of writers. Julie Hale is a writer in Austin, Texas.