Novel New York
by Jessica Allen, 04/01/2014
Poets House photo by Alex Lopez • Grand Central Oyster Bar photo by Malcolm Brown
Every novel takes you somewhere. That's part of the magic of books—they carry you freely to locations throughout the vast reaches of time and space, all as you sit comfortably in your chair. When it comes to New York City, many writers draw inspiration from what can actually be seen or experienced, and their books become maps we can use to explore the City, searching for traces of the narratives, the settings that influenced their authors and where characters had their epiphanies—or disappointments. In this slideshow, we tour different neighborhoods and eras through the pages of 10 popular novels set in NYC. You’ll visit City institutions such as The Met and the American Museum of Natural History, where crucial scenes played out. You'll hit great food destinations, like Harlem for red velvet cake and Flushing for Korean barbecue. And while you won't find Holden Caulfield sipping a malted next to you at the Grand Central Oyster Bar, Patrick Bateman heading out to return videotapes while you head into Indochine or Newland Archer hurrying past as you gape at the mansions along Fifth Avenue, you just might discover the spirits of these literary characters—and how NYC continues to stimulate the imaginations of readers and writers alike.