#BookBingoNW2018: A book that takes place in the area where you were born

Yukon-born Pierre Berton’s advice to aspiring authors that they get themselves “born in an interesting environment,” was facetious, but based on some sound evidence. Consider authors such as William Faulkner, Louise Erdrich, Jim Lynch – you can safely assume their story will be set in Mississippi, Minnesota, and Washington state, respectively.  I would argue that these places are no more interesting than other places; but if you were born there, your opinion may differ.

Seattle is full of people from other places, and this bingo square gives us transplants a chance to revisit our birthplaces. It’s easy to find novels set in a specific location in our catalog. Just search for the name of the place you were born, and include the keyword “fiction.” If your birthplace happens to be, say, Allentown, Pennsylvania, or Longview, Washington, and you’re looking for a range of fiction, you may need to widen your search to a nearby city (even Lancaster, in this case) or region.

Here are some great books that have a strong sense of place. Maybe you were born in one of these places!

  • Chicago Northsiders can check out Emil Ferris’s brilliant graphic novel, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters.
  • Is Vietnam your home? Try The Refugees, a short story collection by Viet Thanh Nguyen.
  • Did you come of age in late-90s Brooklyn? Try Danzy Senna’s compelling thriller, New People.
  • Clevelander suburbanites, try Celest Ng’s masterful Little Fires Everywhere.
  • Two separate storylines make a beeline for Ethopia in this near-future sci-fi stunner: The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne.
  • Were you born somewhere in the expanse of India? Try Neel Mukherjee’s series of Technicolor vignettes – A State of Freedom.
  • Minnesotans can try Emily Fridlund’s electrifying coming-of-age debut, History of Wolves.

For more ideas for books to meet your Summer Book Bingo challenge, follow our Shelf Talk #BookBingoNW2018 series or check the hashtag #BookBingoNW2018 on social media. Need a Book Bingo card? Print one out here or pick one up at your Library. Book bingo is presented in partnership with Seattle Arts & Lectures.

Posted by Alison D. 

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