New York City has always been a writer’s town. It would be nearly impossible to create a complete list of the famous and beloved authors who have paid their NYC dues. So here is a small smattering of the homes that inspired just a few of the city’s literary icons.
1. Mark Twain
Address: 14 West 10th Street
The author of “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” needs no introduction. Samuel Clemens moved three blocks away from Washington Square Park in 1900, but soon after moved again to Riverdale.
2. Richard Wright
Address: 101 And 89 Lefferts Place
“Native Son” was about an an African-American youth struggling on Chicago’s South Side, but Wright lived in New York after receiving a Guggenheim Fellowship.
3. Harper Lee
Address: 433 East 82nd Street
The “To Kill a Mockingbird” author lived in Monroeville, Ala., but it turns out she also kept an Upper East Side apartment — and it was a pretty good deal.
4. Betty Smith
Address: 702 Grand Street
Betty Smith, best known for “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” was born in Williamsburg.
5. O Henry
Address: 55 Irving Place
Known for his much satirized “The Gift of the Magi,” O Henry was your classic depressive, alcoholic writer. So what better way to toast him than grabbing a drink at the Pete’s Tavern Across The Street from his home — a bar he was known to frequent.
6. Allen Ginsberg
Address: 437 East 12th Street
The counter-culture poet par excellence and author of “Howl” lived in several downtown apartments while living in NYC. But he spent a good long while in the East Village — not far from many other poets, which you can learn about here.
7. Herman Melville
Address:: 6 Pearl Street
The author of “Moby Dick” wrote quite a lot about Manhattan — especially in “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street”– and he knew what he was talking about. Melville began his life in a boarding house in lower Manhattan at 6 Pearl Street, similar to the existing building at 7 State Street.