Friday, July 19, 2013

4 Great Literary Vacations

The sun has finally made its appearance in Switzerland, so Writer Abroad can’t help but think about vacation even though she isn’t traveling. Instead, she’s reliving several of her great literary vacations through this post, so if you’re looking for an excuse to travel with a book, here are some destinations to consider:

Place: Zurich, Switzerland
Literary hero: James Joyce
What to read: Ulysses, which James Joyce wrote in Zurich
Zurich, Switzerland: James Joyce's home for many years
Where to visit: The Joyce Foundation for a tour of Joyce’s Zurich, the Kronenhalle Restaurant, where Joyce often dined in the 1930s, the Bahnhofstrasse, Zurich’s main shopping street that Joyce wrote a poem about, James Joyce Pub, which has the original furnishings from the Jury’s Antique Bar in Dublin, and The Fluntern Cemetary, high above the city, where Joyce is buried.

Place: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Literary hero: Anne Frank
What to read: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Where to visit: Anne Frank Museum, the place where Anne’s family went into hiding.

Place: Prince Edward Island, Canada
What to read: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Where to visit: Green Gables Heritage Place, the setting that inspired the author’s book, Avonlea Village, L.M. Montgomery’s home in Cavendish where she wrote the books, Anne & Gilbert—The Musical, and the L.M. Montgomery Birthplace.

Place: Oak Park, Illinois, USA
What to read: Loving Frank by Nancy Horan, an Oak Park resident who researched hometown architect Frank Lloyd Wright and his illicit love affair with Mamah Borthwick Cheney in order to write this award-winning novel.

Anyone else have suggestions for a literary vacation?


  1. I did a literary pub crawl in Dublin, organized by two actors who gave brief talks about the literary significance of various pubs and other spots where we stopped. And we drank. It was great.

  2. London is another great literary destination, as is Salem (Nathaniel Hawthorne) and Concord (Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson), both in Massachusetts.

  3. Ireland is general is a great place for writers. And yes to London and Salem and Concord! Wow, this could be a book...

  4. This is such a cool idea for a post! I'd add: read Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises and then travel from Paris to Pamplona!!

  5. There's an outside chance I might teach a class next summer in Vienna. Any "literary vacation" ideas for that city?

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