Great writers have always borrowed the colors and associations of the real world to lend color and depth to their works. The geography of Dickens' London was full of fantastic characters, but his readers would have recognized his streets and squares.
The Atlas of Fiction maps those connections between novels and the real world. Click on "List of Books and Authors" to map the geography of your favorite writer; or browse the "World Map" to see who has been writing about your town, or your street.
How can you include X and not Y?
While the map is always growing, the selection will always be somewhat random, based on what I happen to think of and what I happen to be reading. If your favorite author isn't included, it isn't meant to be a snub; there are a lot of books out there and I'll never be able to include them all. I try to include a broad range of classic and modern literature, and include books that are likely to have interesting places in them.
The Atlas does not include travel books or other nonfiction—even highly literary travel books like Travels with Charley or highly dubious ones like The Travels of Sir John Mandeville. Short stories, novels, and poetry are all eligible; however, the Atlas does not include locations from plays, films, or other dramatic, musical or stage works.
If you'd like your favorite to be included, please read the entire FAQ below. If you still think it's worthwhile, there are instructions for submitting your suggestions at the end of this page.
What kind of locations are included?
I will include any location mentioned in a novel or story that exists in the real world. To qualify, it must be mentioned by name; I do not include locations with fictitious names, even when they are only thinly disguised versions of the real world, like Mark Twain's "St. Petersburg" (Hannibal, Missouri) or F. Scott Fitzgerald's "West Egg" (Great Neck, New York).
I map the points as specifically as the author allows. If the author simply mentions a street, or a city, the Atlas may include a link even where the specific house can't be located. In major cities, most entries correspond to streets or landmarks, while in more rural areas they may identify cities or counties. The title of the entry usually reflects how precise the author was; if the entry is headed "West 34th Street," the book probably mentioned only the street name, and the pointer will be placed near the middle of the street on the map. If the entry is headed "Gloucestershire," the book only mentioned the county, and the pointer will be near the center of the county.
For some books, the Atlas may only include one or two significant locations. But where possible, I include even locations mentioned only in passing, so as to give a better sense of the geography of the work.
How do I submit a location for consideration?
If you have a location you think should be included that meets the criteria above, email me, at email@example.com. Please include the title and author of the book, and for each location, include:
- The name or address of the location ("St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London");
- A brief description of what happened there in the work ("Watson is introduced to Holmes"); and
- The precise digital latitude and longitude of the location. There are a number of free "geocoders" on the web that will help you find this.
As editor, I reserve the right to modify or reject any submissions.