The setting of a book determines many details about the story, from the natural landscape in which the characters move to the businesses that they frequent. Some authors create entire new worlds for their stories, while some choose places that are familiar. Here are ten examples of authors who situated their masterpieces right in Pennsylvania.
1. The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
Though much of the classic coming-of-age tale takes place in New York City, it begins at Holden Caulfield's fictional prep school that Salinger places in Agerstown, Pennsylvania.
2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
Yet another coming-of-age novel is set in the state of PA. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which was adapted into a movie in 2012, follows a boy named Charlie through his freshman year of high school in the suburbs of Pittsburgh.
3. Maniac Magee, Jerry Spinelli
Perhaps you read this book in elementary school. It is about an orphan of incredible athleticism who grows up in the fictional town of Two Mills, PA, which is loosely based off of Norristown.
4. Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison's award-winning novel follows the life of Milkman, who spends most of his time in Michigan, but whose grandfather lives in Pennsylvania. Shortlist.com listed Song of Solomon as President Barack Obama's favorite book.
5. The Pittsburgh Cycle, August Wilson
One of Pittsburgh's claims-to-fame is the famous playwright, August Wilson. The Pittsburgh Cycle consists of ten plays, most of which take place in the hill district of Pittsburgh. The most famous of these plays are Seven Guitars, The Piano Lesson, and Fences.
6. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold
The Lovely Bones is narrated by the spirit of a murdered teenage girl as she watches her family and friends grieve from the afterilfe. The story takes place in Norristown and was also adapted to a film in 2009.
7. The Memory Keeper's Daughter, Kim Edwards
The poignant tale of a man who gives his newborn, Down-syndrome afflicted daughter to a nurse topped the New York Times bestseller list when it came out in 2006. The family in the book is from Kentucky; however, the girl grows up in Pittsburgh with her adoptive mother.
8. Christine, Stephen King
"StephenKing-Christine" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia
Most of Stephen King's novels take place in New England (particularly Maine), yet Christine is the only one to take place outside of this region. The book, which takes place in Pittsburgh, is about a haunted car, and is dedicated to the Pittsburgh filmmaker George Romero.
9. Juliet, Naked, Nick Hornby
The novel about love triangles and obesssive fandom takes place in rural Pennsylvania.
10. Rabbit, Run, John Updike
Rabbit, Run, a story about a high school basketball player, is often assigned in high school and college English classes. It takes place in Brewer, Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania certainly has a rich literary heritage, and this list is only scratching the surface. What books have you read that take place in our state?