If you're looking for a unique and relatively inexpensive gift idea for a literary friend, you might want to wend your way to the Literary Gift Company, based in England but online at theliterarygiftcompany.com, for a copy of their USA literary map. Available as an 84x59cm poster (that's 33x23 inches to those in the USA) it's a fun and intriguing gift.
At first glance, it looks a simple enough concept - author names laid out to form a map of the USA. But the fun starts when you start to try to work out the reason for each author's placement. Not yet in possession of the poster itself (which costs £9.95, about $16, plus shipping) I had to resort to peering at the online version with the aid of a magnifying glass - and some of the positionings sent me scurrying to read up on the author.
For example, what's Vladimir Nabokov doing on the West Coast, somewhere around the California/Oregon border?
Why are Mark Helprin, Sylvia Plath and T.S. Elliot loitering in the Atlantic Ocean?
And what's F Scott Fitzgerald doing in the vicinity of Lake Superior?
(Answers below the map!)
The Literary Gift Company also offers a map of Britain as a poster and dish towel
I don't know for certain why the map's creators positioned the above-mentioned authors as they did, but I assume it's because...
Are you surprised by the positioning of any of the authors?