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The New York Times: Footsteps: From Ferrante's Naples to Hammett's San Francisco, Literary Pilgrimages Around the World

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  324 ratings  ·  75 reviews
A curated collection of the New York Times' travel column, "Footsteps," exploring iconic authors' relationships to landmarks and cities around the world

Before Nick Carraway was drawn into Daisy and Gatsby s sparkling, champagne-fueled world in The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald vacationed in the French Riviera, where a small green lighthouse winked at ships on the hori
Paperback, 292 pages
Published May 9th 2017 by Crown Publishing Group (NY)
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Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  324 ratings  ·  75 reviews

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Start your review of The New York Times: Footsteps: From Ferrante's Naples to Hammett's San Francisco, Literary Pilgrimages Around the World
Diane Barnes
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: slow-reads
This has been my bedtime reading for several weeks now, and it sent me off to sleep with visions of the haunts and landscapes of authors, some of my favorites, and some of whom I've never read. As finances and circumstances prevent me from getting to most of these places, it was an excellent way to travel. ...more
Ann Mah
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My favorite column in the New York Times Travel section has its very own book, and I'm super excited and honored to have three pieces collected within. Footsteps is the best travel inspiration, whether you're headed somewhere exotic, or journeying from your armchair. ...more
Erin Cataldi
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
A wonderful literary tour book that can guide not only your imagination but perhaps inspire some literary travels as well. Essays cover hometown cities, travel destinations, and inspirations from poets, playwrights, and novelists in the past two centuries. At least a third (if not more) of the literary pilgrimages are in the US, but these are all taken directly from The New York Times so it's not a huge shock. Quite a few of the authors I had never heard of but became entranced with after readin ...more
Jan 01, 2018 rated it liked it
This collection of NYT essays links writers to place in often entertaining and interesting ways, from O’Connor’s small town Georgia to Jamaica Kincaid’s Antigua. Most are very brief and involve the essayist visiting the sites and linking their readings of the original literature with the places they find themselves as modern tourists. It’s a good next to the bed collection. But I have to say I found some unsatisfying, even superficial. In any case, pick and choose and enjoy as you will.
Ann Marie
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Christmas gift last year that I have been enjoying all year and just finished up. Great armchair travel book with a literary bent!
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I don't go on vacations. It's just not something I do. The idea of a beach or a crowded foreign city bring out my anxiety, with my mind running in circles, thinking of all the things I should be doing instead.

That being said, books have always been my escape, or my mind's vacation. I read and I escape to Manderley or to Thornfield. Footsteps is a vacation. From San Francisco to Scotland to Vancouver, each essay is a journey to another place. Based on the popular New York Times travel column, Foo
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of the greatest things about reading books is being able to see places through another persons eyes. This book takes it one step further and actually travel to some of the places that were muses for authors to see what made them passionate about them to write about it. It is a compilation of the articles from the New York Time's travel column and I'm glad they combined them into a book since I wouldn't have see them otherwise. This is a great concept for writing and makes you look at the way ...more
A wonderful book if you like travelogues and discovering new authors.
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
How monumentally fitting was it that I read this one during the pandemic-which-shall-not-be-named, when travel is off the table but the vicarious pleasure of getting lost in books is very much still available. I came out of it with a few more "Want to go" pins on Google Maps, a few additions to my TBR list, and a hefty dose of what the Germans call Vorfreude (the pleasure of anticipation - yes, I absolutely am becoming that person who throws pseudo-untranslatable words into conversations, becaus ...more
Mushisho Azhar
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
The blurb at the back of this book has the following summary:
"True literature itself is a flight of fancy, and appreciators of it are all too familiar with the discombobulating feeling of finishing a novel and being slightly surprised to be at home in a recliner rather than hundreds of miles - and hundreds of years - away."

I can say that I experienced that discombobulating feeling after reading certain chapters in this book. Don't we sometimes become so engrossed in a story that we wonder about
Lisa Mcbroom
For lovers of books and travel, these are literary pilgrimages writers made that inspired their writing. From Mark Twain's visit to Hawaii before it was a state, Nabokov 's pilgrimage with his wife Vera along the back roads of America to chronicle his novel Lolita, and my favorite writer F.Scott Fitzgerald spending time in France you can travel for free in the wonderful pages of these articles! ...more
Very enjoyable, very inspiring for future reading, and the next best thing to wish fulfillment traveling in this day and age. Some are better than others but as always, I wish these journalists would include more columns about Asian/African authors in Asian/African countries rather than the white authors who happened to visit or glorify them.
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Someday, one state at a time, one country at a time. New places to consider checking out in our next trip!
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Short stories about places made famous in novels and literature. Very engaging, and if one didn't suit your fancy the next one might! ...more
Dec 15, 2017 rated it liked it
If you read the NYT travel section, you've likely read these reprinted stories. Not coincidentally, the ones I didn't remember were probably the ones I didn't prefer in their original incarnation. ...more
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Whenever I go on vacation, my family knows that wherever we go, I will check before we leave to see what literary stops we can make. In the past, we have gone to the rugged shores of Rachel Carson’s Maine, the boardinghouse that Thomas Wolfe grew up in and wrote about, Carl Sandburg’s Connemara in Flat Rock (one of my favorite places because it looks exactly as it did when the poet laureate lived here and makes one think that he just stepped out for a minute), Edgar Allen Poe’s dorm room at the ...more
Leah Rachel von Essen
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The New York Times travel section has published a book called Footsteps, from Ferrante’s Naples to Hammett’s San Francisco: Literary Pilgrimages Around the World. People seek out the places where authors lived, where they were inspired, where they wrote, and write about those connections. There were some issues with a couple of the essays, but I enjoyed the book for the most part—most of the essays were well-written and fascinating.

To begin with the bad. First, unsurprisingly the book is biased
Jun 27, 2017 rated it liked it
I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review and let me tell you, I was excited to get it! It’s a look at the various locations that have inspired the most incredible writers in the world. Not every destination was inspiring to me, but some of my favorite spots were not what I had anticipated (like Kerouac’s mountain!) I’ve added quite a few spots to my travel wishlist because of these stories and I found some authors to add to my TBR stack as well! A good ...more
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Armchair travelers and world travelers will both be delighted with this literary travel guide assembled by the fine writers of the New York Times. Perfect for the commuter or lunchtime reader as the chapters are short stories taking merely brief moments to read. A joy! Couldn’t put it down and read it in its entirety in 3 Days.
Dec 01, 2017 rated it liked it
From Ferrantre’s Naples to Hammet’s San Francisco
Literary Pilgrimages Around the World
Author: Various
Publisher: New York Times / Three Rivers Press
Date: 2017
Pgs: 292
Dewey: 808.8302 F687
Disposition: Irving Public Library - South Campus - Irving, TX


Footsteps is an anthology column of literary pilgrimages, exploring the geography of history’s writers. Twain in Hawaii. Lovecraft’s Providence. Yeats. Naboko
L.A. Kelley
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A writer’s inspiration can come from many things; a person, object, or even a particular location. A special place can sink into your bones, color your thoughts, ooze from your pen (or computer.) Some places are so closely associated with a writer as to be inseparable. Say “Charles Dickens” and you immediately think of Victorian England. How would stories have changed if L. M. Montgomery never lived on Prince Edward Island or if Stephen King settled in Arizona instead of Maine?

Footsteps is a col
Apr 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
The New York Times: Footsteps: From Ferrante's Naples to Hammett's San Francisco, Literacy Pilgrimages Around the World, though a mouthful, is a unique and interesting concept that I believe was executed well. Take a handful of locations and view them through the lens of an author, not only an author's life, but through their literature as well. Even though, I wouldn't consider myself into travel or travelogues, this book was absolutely fascinating and it took me on an enjoyable journey througho ...more
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Footsteps provides a fascinating look at the lives of a number of celebrated authors. I can't think of better way to a “behind the scenes” look at what made so many literary figures tick. Whether it was a place or an experience these essays will provide book lovers with hours of entertainment. In fact, I think this would make a great gift idea for the book lovers in your life.

And while we may not be able to travel the path of our favorite authors in a literal sense we definitely get a feel of t
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
It might be seen as an odd way to view the books of our lives; Having writers write about writers, travelling in their footsteps, trying to delve inside their minds and their personas by seeing what they saw. Yet, Footsteps manages to brilliantly pull it off. As someone who doesn’t subscribe to the ‘New York Times,’ this collection of some of their best columns has made it easy for me to delve into that world. I was originally drawn in by Michael Morris and Gracia Lam’s wonderful cover design a ...more
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great collection of pieces from the New York Times that all have the same basic formula: A journey to a city that was significant for a literary figure, a look around, discussion of what is still around that they would know, or the feeling of the place, where they ate and lived, and what the attitude of the place is like today versus then. It's a really cool idea for a regular newspaper piece and I wonder if they are still publishing them.

Many are very powerful and some are very light. It's a gr
Jessica White
Oct 08, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was not at all what I was expecting it to be.

Honestly, F. Scott Fitzgerald caught my eye and I picked it up on impulse.
With that being said, I could have lived without it.
Footsteps is a collections of essays written and published in The New York Times.
Each essay is based on a literary pilgrimage, which let's be real that is an AWESOME concept.

However, many of the authors discussed in this book were what I consider "classic" authors. Think Fitzgerald, Lovecraft, Hemingway, Twain, Kero
Sarah Coller
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
The past few years have found me increasingly interested in travel stories as I've had the opportunity to step out into the world a little myself. Footsteps, a collection of travel essays centered around the homes and haunts of literature "greats", started out interesting, even though I was unfamiliar with a few of the writers. I enjoyed learning about these figures and their places in the world. After awhile though, the stories became more tedious as the writers became more and more obscure.

Books and travel are two of my passions and since I tend to focus my vacations at least partially around literary spots, I immediately gravitated towards this anthology. Despite loving the concept of this book, I didn't love the book itself and since I don't read The New York Times I can't say whether I would have enjoyed it more as individual columns in a newspaper. I will say this: the articles about books and authors I've read and enjoyed (such as L.M. Montgomery, Yeats, Bram Stoker, etc.) ...more
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Authors, novels, NYT, and travel - of course I loved this book. Some articles were better than others but the book truly was an armchair adventure as I followed familiar authors and their works through their homes and places of inspiration. I've read most, but not all of the authors and I've traveled to most of the locations although not all of the specific buildings and villages. Familiar or not, I was transferred to the locations in each article. Now I've added to both my reading list and my t ...more
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was really really interesting!! It made me want to read so many authors, and I loved that I could feel such a personal connection to authors I had never even heard of. Getting to know the humanity of iconic writers is truly enriching to a person's understanding of their work and can also contribute to a richer analysis (par exemple: knowing the background for the setting of A Chronicle of A Death Foretold). The other reason I loved this book is because it presents such a wide range of exami ...more
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The New York Times is a daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed internationally. Founded in 1851, the newspaper has won 112 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other news organization. Its website receives 30 million unique visitors per month.

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