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Cities Through The World Of Authors

Literature has always given space to cities, making them the protagonist and the backdrop.

There also have been some novels which have gone one step ahead; they blended the spirit and character of the city with their story till they couldn't be told apart.

Here we are looking at fiction/non-fiction that vividly describes the physical and social atmosphere of cities/towns.



1. Hard Times by Charles Dickens :

Interestingly, Hard Times is Dickens only novel which does not have scenes set in London.

Instead, the story revolves around the fictitious Victorian Industrial Coketown which is a typical Northern English mill-town having being inspired by places like Preston and Manchester.The author’s first illustrations of the main setting of Coketown is a clear stand-in for real life industrial mill towns.


2. Ulysses by James Joyce :

Ulysses captures most of Dublin’s urban life, offering a sense of what life in the city was.

Often called Joyce’s Dublin - a city of contrasts, it also presents an accurate account of the geography of the city as experienced by his characters as they crisscross through Dublin’s various streets.Joyce once said that he wrote Ulysses with the hope that Dublin could be totally reconstructed from the novel.


3. The Lonely City by Olivia Laing :

The Lonely City is a memoir which consist the author’s reflections on the isolation that she felt during her time in New York City. It is a definitive commentary on New York, on the loneliness it withholds behind the glossy veneer. Laing does not compare her loneliness with the city, rather uses her condition to be more empathetic towards the cities' loneliness.


4. The devil In The White City by Erik Larson :

This book is set in Chicago in 1893, interweaving the true tales of Daniel Burnham, the architect behind the 1893 World's Fair, and H. H. Holmes, a serial killer.

It’s a novel that documents the years surrounding the building of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair which spanned over 633 acres.


We hope this article has been both informative and entertaining!

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