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This Map Shows You the Best Book Based in Each NYC 'Hood

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The New York Public Library put together this map of the best books set in various New York City neighborhoods (most of Manhattan is covered, as well as a the trendier parts of Brooklyn). There aren't any big surprises—The Great Gatsby takes Midtown; The Catcher in the Rye, Central Park; Breakfast at Tiffany's, Fifth Avenue—though it does tend to skew towards more recent works. Ben Lerner's 10:04 (Brooklyn Heights), Teju Cole's Open City (Upper West Side), and Rachel Kushner's The Flamethrowers (Soho), all published within the last five years, all make the list. Can you think of any big snubs? Motherless Brooklyn and Paul Auster's New York Trilogy both get multiple mentions in the NYPL's comment section.


Financial District
American Psycho, by Brett Easton Ellis

World Trade Center
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer

Shoplifting from American Apparel, by Tao Lin

The Bowery/Five Points
The Gods of Gotham, by Lyndsey Faye

Lower East Side
Super Sad True Love Story, by Gary Shteyngart

The Flamethrowers, by Rachel Kushner

Alphabet City
Call It Sleep, by Henry Roth

Greenwich Village
Great Jones Street, by Don Delillo
Washington Square, by Henry James

Flatiron District
Ragtime, by E.L. Doctorow

Netherland, by Joseph O'Neill

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Times Square
A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan

Fifth Avenue
Breakfast at Tiffany's, by Truman Capote

Central Park
The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

Upper East Side
The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton
The Catcher in the Rye
The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath
The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

Upper West Side
Rosemary's Baby, by Ira Levin
Open City, by Teju Cole

Push, by Sapphire
Jazz, by Toni Morrison
Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin


Brown Girl, Brownstones, by Paule Marshall

Downtown Brooklyn
Brooklyn, by Colm Toibin

Brooklyn Heights
10:04, by Ben Lerner

Boerum Hill
The Fortress of Solitude, by Jonathan Lethem

Carroll Gardens
Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem

Coney Island
The Museum of Extraordinary Things, by Alice Hoffman

Flatbush/Ditmas Park
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon
Sophie's Choice, by William Styron

Sunset Park/Bay Ridge
Last Exit to Brooklyn, by Hubert Selby Jr.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith
Tropic of Capricorn, by Henry Miller
The Chosen, by Chaim Potok


The Ask, by Sam Lipsyte

Native Speaker, by Chang Rae Lee
Preparation for the Next Life, by Atticus Lish

We Are Not Ourselves, by Matthew Thomas


South Bronx
Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann

West Bronx/Fordham
The Bonfire of the Vanities, by Tom Wolfe

Staten Island

Port Richmond
Small Mercies, by Eddie Joyce

· The Best New York City Novels by Neighborhood [NYPL]
· NY Public Library's List of the Best Books Based in Your Neighborhood [DNAinfo]
· Cool Map Things [Curbed]