“Dale Patrick Brown deftly raises Cincinnati’s rich history of writers and writing from undeserved obscurity to its proper place in the C.V. of one of America’s great cities. The collection of authors with Cincinnati connections, from Harriet Beecher Stowe to John Berryman, will surprise and please all readers, but it will be especially gratifying to those who have labored under the misapprehension that literature is something that happens somewhere else.”
Albert Pyle, Executive director, The Mercantile Library
“Brown’s most memorable and animated stories involve dinner parties, martinis, skinny-dipping, and visiting poets…. Such modest places in the middle (of the country) have contributed greatly to the literary life of this nation, something Dale Brown reminds us of in her engaging literary history.”
Resources for American LIterature
“Brown’s informative and entertaining book is a welcome catalogue of the personalities and authors who once and happily still fill (bookstores).”
Indiana Magazine of History
“Brown’s intuition is spot on in creating a book which can be enjoyed by literati, historians, and the general public, and would be not only a useful tool in teaching the history of Cincinnati, but also makes for excellent pleasure reading.”
The history of Cincinnati runs much deeper than the stories of hogs that once roamed downtown streets. In addition to hosting the nation’s first professional baseball team, the Tall Stacks riverboat celebration, and the May Festival, there’s another side to the city—one that includes some of the most famous names and organizations in American letters.
Literary Cincinnati fills in this missing chapter, taking the reader on a joyous ride with some of the great literary personalities who have shaped life in the Queen City. Meet the young Samuel Clemens working in a local print shop, Fanny Trollope struggling to open her bizarre bazaar, Sinclair Lewis researching Babbitt, hairdresser Eliza Potter telling the secrets of her rich clientele, and many more who defined the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Queen City.
For lovers of literature everywhere—but especially in Cincinnati—this is a literary tour that will entertain, inform, and amuse.
Dale Patrick Brown is the author of Brilliance and Balderdash: Early Lectures at Cincinnati’s Mercantile Library. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. More info →
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For two spring days in 2001, John Updike visited Cincinnati, Ohio, engaging and charming his audiences, reading from his fiction, fielding questions, sitting for an interview, participating in a panel discussion, and touring the Queen City.Successful writers typically spend a portion of their lives traveling the country to give readings and lectures.
In 1919 a middle-aged Chicago ad man facing professional and personal crises published a modest book of stories intended to “reform” American literature. Against all expectations, it achieved what its author, Sherwood Anderson, intended: after Winesburg, Ohio, American literature would be written and read freshly and differently.
Ohio enjoys a rich artistic heritage: its inhabitants have made significant contributions in the arts; its schools have produced artists of international acclaim; and its companies have employed progressive manufacturing techniques and pioneering materials in the production of their wares. Ohio’s artistic tradition is especially impressive in the area of the decorative arts from the first two-thirds of the twentieth century.
“A good place to be from.” That’s how some people might characterize the Buckeye State. The writings in Good Roots: Writers Reflect on Growing Up in Ohio, are testimony to the truth of that statement. By prominent writers such as P. J. O’Rourke, Susan Orlean, and Alix Kates Shulman, these contributions are alternately nostalgic, irreverent, and sincere, and offer us a personal sense of place. Their childhoods are as varied as their work.
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