A week after publishing a literary map of Brooklyn, Brooklyn Magazine decided to go for broke and give readers “The Literary United States: A Map Of The Best Book For Every State.” With a mission to differentiate by avoiding fame in favor of literary merit and a focus on specifics, Kristin Iversen writes, “We wanted to come up with a list that was more than just a general reflection of a place, but rather paid attention to the specifics, even at the risk of the exclusion of the whole. No one book, after all, can completely capture the spirit of something so unwieldy as a state.”


As a result the list contains mostly fiction novels, but covers almost every genre while proudly managing to avoid Gone With The Wind and getting titles as new as 2013’s Eleanor & Park mapped. The full list is below, for your perusal and debate:

Alabama: To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee
Alaska: Into The Wild, Jon Krakauer
Arizona: Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy
Arkansas: I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
California (southern): The White Boy Shuffle, Paul Beatty
California (northern): Suicide Blonde, Darcey Steinke
Colorado: Angle Of Repose, Wallace Stegner
Connecticut: Nine Stories, “Uncle Wiggily In Connecticut,” J.D. Salinger
Delaware: The Good Lord Bird, James McBride
Florida: Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
Georgia: Cane, Jean Toomer
Hawaii: The Descendants, Kaui Hart Hemmings
Idaho: Train Dreams, Denis Johnson
Illinois: Native Son, Richard Wright
Indiana: The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields
Iowa: Gilead, Marilynne Robinson
Kansas: In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
Kentucky: Beloved, Toni Morrison
Louisiana: All The King’s Men, Robert Penn Warren
Maine: Carrie, Stephen King
Maryland: Jacob Have I Loved, Katherine Patterson
Massachusetts: The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
Michigan: Split Images, Elmore Leonard
Minnesota: Betsy And Tacy Go Downtown, Maud Hart Lovelace
Mississippi: Long Division, Kiese Laymon
Missouri: Stoner, John Williams
Montana: Legends Of The Fall, Jim Harrison
Nebraska: Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell
Nevada: Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson
New Hampshire: A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
New Jersey: American Pastoral, Philip Roth
New Mexico: Leave Her To Heaven, Ben Ames Williams
New York State: Foxfire: Confessions Af A Girl Gang, Joyce Carol Oates
New York City: Daddy Was A Number Runner, Louise Meriwether
North Carolina: Look Homeward Angel, Thomas Wolfe
North Dakota: The Round House, Louise Erdrich
Ohio: The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison
Oklahoma: The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton
Oregon: No One Belongs Here More Than You, Miranda July
Pennsylvania: The Mysteries Of Pittsburgh, Michael Chabon
Rhode Island: The Witches Of Eastwick, John Updike
South Carolina: Bastard Out Of Carolina, Dorothy Allison
South Dakota: Little Town On The Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder
Texas: Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry
Tennessee: Child Of God, Cormac McCarthy
Utah: The Executioner’s Song, Norman Mailer
Virginia: The Confessions Of Nat Turner, William Styron
Vermont: The Secret History, Donna Tartt
Wyoming: Close Range: Wyoming Stories “Brokeback Mountain,” E. Annie Proulx
Wisconsin: The Art Of Fielding, Chad Harbach
Washington: The Lone Ranger And Tonto Fistfight In Heaven, Sherman Alexie
Washington D.C.: You Are One Of Them, Elliot Holt
West Virgina: The Glass Castle, Jeanette Walls