Sunday, March 6, 2011

You read about it, now visit the literary sites of Boston

After reading "The Dante Club" and visiting the Longfellow house, I thought it would be a great idea to organize a literary tour of Cambridge. But then I thought about how hard it would be the park the bus at  e.e. cumming's old house. Then I thought of how far it was from his house to his grave at the Forest Hills Cemetery in JP.

So, I thought, maybe an online map. I thought the Globe had beaten me to it, but I see they don't cover Cambridge in this map, which lists sites mentioned in books. The Globe is like that.
Here are a couple of Roxbury entries from two books I've read and one I haven 't. I do favor the Blanche series since the main character also has roots in one of my other stomping grounds, the Triangle in North Carolina. (Go AAC champion Heels!)

15. “Blanche Cleans Up”by Barbara Neely (1998)

“Dudley Square was full of Saturday afternoon bustle: kids running out of the library, police cars taking up too many parking spaces, women jockeying strollers and shopping bags, men checking out the women and one another’s cars. … The smell of Jamaican meat pies from Dudley Pastry wrapped around her like a mother-made cloak. The music snaking out of Nubian Nation across the street put extra rhythm in her walk.”
16. “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” (1965)
“So I went gawking around the neighborhood - the Waumbeck and Humboldt Avenue Hill section of Roxbury. … I saw those Roxbury Negroes acting and living differently from any black people I’d ever dreamed of in my life. This was the snooty-black neighborhood; they called themselves the ‘Four Hundred,’ and looked down their noses at the Negroes of the black ghetto, or so-called ‘town’ section.’ ”

17. “The Given Day”
by Dennis Lehane (2008)
“[Lieutenant] McKenna raised a hand above them all. ‘We are sworn to serve and protect Americans in general and Bostonians in particular. The Letts, well,’ he chuckled, ‘the Letts are neither, gents. … They have chosen to ignore the city’s strict orders to march and plan to parade from the [Dudley] Opera House … until they reach Franklin Park, where they will hold a rally in support of their comrades - yes, comrades - in Hungary, Bavaria, Greece, and, of course, Russia.”

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