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Books Set in the Seattle Area

Tom Robbins calls Seattle “a frontier metropolis.”  Unlike many east coast cities, in Seattle, the natural world exists near and is even intertwined with the urban.  There’s the constant interplay between bar hopping and mountain gazing (hopefully during the conference, our majestic symbol, Mt. Rainier, will be “out”—that is, visible without cloud cover).  

Whatever you call it (Tech haven? Grunge incubator? Hiker’s heaven? Or, like Quincy Jones, Global gumbo?), Seattle makes a great setting for fiction!  Renowned authors Sherman Alexie, David Guterson, Maria Semple, Kristin Hannah and Stephenie Meyer (author of the “Twilight” series, set near Seattle) have all written about the Emerald City.  Here are some lists of fiction you may want to check out before you arrive:

--These picks are from the super-cool librarians at The Seattle Public Library.  It’s an updated list; if you are looking for some more classic picks, they can help you with that too!

--Blogger Seattle Anne has an excellent list of fiction set in Seattle.   Along with her fiction list, check out her set-in-Seattle non-fiction and young adult titles.

--Check out these suggestions from Seattle Met Magazine!  They go a little further afield than the city proper—which, seeing how much time Seattleites spend in the outdoors all along the Western Washington coast, makes sense.

--And, here’s a nice overview of Seattle’s literary life, from The Guardian.  Be sure to check out the Readers’ List for titles beloved by Seattleites, and take a look at this short story by Nicola Griffith that was mentioned by a commenter!

Also, a suggestion for a future trip is to check to see whether Book-It Repertory Theatre has anything on offer.  “Book-It creates world-premiere adaptations of classic and contemporary literature for the stage, preserving the narrative text as it is spoken, not by a single “narrator” but as dialogue by the characters in the production.”  They take on classic fiction, short stories, you name it. They also have created world premiere dramatizations of many great titles by local authors: Broken For You, by Stephanie Kallos; The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch; The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein; and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (based on the real-life and still operating Panama Hotel) by Jamie Ford, to name a few.

Happy reading!

Contributed by MLA LAC Committee member, Ann Glusker

Image courtesy of Brew Books

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