So I was trying to think of the most famous writers I could from each state. A few were obvious (Cather, Faulkner, Toole). Still, I didn’t come up with too many–it turns out I’m not actually sure where most writers are from. I put the name in italics if I’ve never read a book by the author.
California–John Steinbeck? Jack London? Charles Bukowski? Raymond Chandler?
Colorado–Hunter S. Thompson?
Louisiana–John Kennedy Toole
Massachusetts–Melville? Nathaniel Hawthorne? (no, I never made it through The Scarlet Letter), Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, oh, I’ve got a recent one–Robert Parker (the Spenser mysteries)
Mississippi–William Faulkner, Eudora Welty (I think)
New Jersey–Junot Diaz (Oscar Wao was set there, I assume he’s from there)
New York–Walt Whitman (Ok, he’s more of a poet, but he’s who I came up with), Langston Hughes? Ralph Ellison? (obviously they lived in Harlem, but were they from there?), Stan Lee (!), about a million others who lived in NY but weren’t from there
North Carolina–David Sedaris
Ohio–Harriet Beacher Stowe (I think), P.J. O’Rourke, Harvey Pekar
Oklahoma–S. E. Hinton (Lee told me this one, and how great is it that OK’s most famous author is YA?)
Pennsylvania–John Updike (aren’t his books set in suburban Philadelphia?)
Virginia–Edgar Allan Poe (I know Baltimore claims him but I think he was from Richmond originally)
Washington State–Frank Herbert
Leave any others you know in the comments and I’ll add them to the list.