Connecticut in books

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Connecticut in books

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jun 19, 2007, 7:39am

The movie Stepford Wives had Connecticut as a backdrop. It displayed a certain exaggerated stereotype of Connecticut.

I'm wondering if anyone else knows of any BOOKS that did something similar. Like the state almost becomes a character on its own. Or the plot has something to saw about Connecticut?

jun 19, 2007, 12:41pm

I'm as curious as you are, perlle. The only book I've read about CT since I moved here is The Witch of Blackbird Pond and the only reason I picked it up was because I read in the Hartford Courant that some woman wanted to ban it as required reading in some CT school, because she thought it encouraged witchcraft. (It does nothing of the kind.)

jun 19, 2007, 2:22pm

Patrick Dennis' Around the World with Auntie Mame skewered Connecticut's suburbs with the Upson family, including Patrick's snotty fiancée, Gloria, and her anti-Semitic parents.

Gentlemen's Agreement, by Laura Z. Hobson, does the same.

jun 19, 2007, 3:18pm

Thomas Tryon:
The Wings of the Morning
In the Fire of Spring

This an unfinished trilogy (Tryon died before he could finish it) about a thinly disguised Wethersfield ("Pequod Landing")...circa 1810 or so in first book and circa the Civil War in the second. I must admit I've never read them, and would probably be too frustrated about the fact that it is unfinished, and is apparently never going to be finished. However, I can pass on my wife's recommendation, she read and liked both.

I thoroughly detested Jennifer Weiner's Goodnight Nobody, which was also set (sort of, at one point she describes the CT river as basically running through Fairfield County.) in CT.

Oddly, can't think of anything else at the moment.

Redigerat: jun 19, 2007, 3:24pm

Oh, I read the first one, gmork! I wasn't too happy with it, either. And I'd already bought the second one. I kept thinking that it just couldn't have been written by the same man who wrote Lady, which I loved. But then I remembered having read his Crowned Heads and I realized, it probably wasn't a ghost writer.

jun 19, 2007, 5:42pm

A book was published a few years ago that was a "thinly disguised" (to steal gmork's wording) of East Hampton, complete with not so flattering portraits of many of the older families in town (written by a former resident). Of course, I lost the post it where my mother wrote down the title, and have never been able to find it since.

jun 19, 2007, 7:34pm

collsers-I'd love to know the title if you ever find it since I live in East Hampton.

8danielsumrall Första inlägget
jun 20, 2007, 12:00am

Wasn't "The Geographer's Library" set in CT?

jun 20, 2007, 1:51pm

The Great Sunflower by Clifford Stone (the touchstones gave me a Russian translation of a Harry Potter book!) has for its backdrop urban renewal in New London. I read it well before the Pfizer and Kelo incidents and should look at it again. It's about the most Connecticuty novel I've ever read.

10rnmorgan1 Första inlägget
aug 4, 2007, 4:01am

I loved I Know this Much is True by Wally Lamb because he describes Norwich CT in such exquisite detail (also using fictional substitutions for the town, street and place names) that if you know the town well enough, you could walk straight to some of the houses he describes in the story. One of the only books I have ever read twice!

Robin (now in Mass, but grew up in East Lyme)

aug 6, 2007, 6:33pm

Oh! I own that book but I haven't read it yet. I just read She's Come Undone last year, and I loved it! Wally Lamb is brilliant, with a great sense of humor, to boot.

apr 23, 2008, 4:05pm

#6 collsers - I cannot tell you how much I want to know the name of that book. It's almost a year later and I'm still looking for it!
I'm gonna have to find a way to start asking people in town. Now how to go about that...

jan 19, 2011, 9:34pm

I know that The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb has CT as a backdrop, as well as East Of Eden by John Steinbeck. I thought I had more that I remember but I am drawing a blank.

Redigerat: mar 26, 2011, 9:09pm

Flood Friday by Lois Lenski is a children's book about the 1955 flood that devastated towns along the Farmington River. It's primarily set in Winsted, I think.

Redigerat: apr 17, 2011, 10:28am

Didn't 4053418::The Catcher in the Rye's Holden Caulfield go to Choate?

apr 17, 2011, 10:48am

Was it? I only read the book once when I was in my late 20s, I think.

Let me just say how happy I am to see someone posting in here!

apr 17, 2011, 9:34pm

Det här meddelandet har tagits bort av dess författare.

Redigerat: apr 19, 2011, 9:18pm

No, I guess I was way off the ranch. It was Pencey in PA. Maybe there was a mention of Choate? It's been many decades for me, too.

I've got a legit one. Connecticut is featured in a couple chapters of The Owl Papers.

apr 23, 2011, 9:29am

There's plenty of CT nonfiction out there. I'm currently reading the hiking memoir, Loop Year. Meh. You would think that 365-word essays documenting hikes of the same nature trail, for 365 consecutive days, would contain a bit of nature writing. 'Maybe a scrap? No such luck.

apr 23, 2011, 11:14am

I bought The Ice Storm a couple of years ago. I tried to start it when we were having one of our many storms this past Winter, but I couldn't get into it. I'll try again when the weather is less gloomy. I think it was just too much for me. Loved the movie, so I'm hoping the book will be even batter.

Redigerat: apr 23, 2011, 1:23pm

Then there's Death in Canaan, as well as that controversial one from Cheshire, Murder in Connecticut.

maj 26, 2011, 1:16am

Stewart O'Nan's Last Night at the Lobster is set in New Britain/West Hartford, at or near Westfarms mall...

jun 21, 2011, 3:44pm

Roberta Isleib writes mysteries that are situated in Guilford. Mary Higgins Clark's Two Little Girls in Blue is set in Fairfield County.

jun 21, 2011, 4:05pm

Girls of a Tender Age is a biography set in Hartford in the 1960s. The Witch of Blackbird Pond is set in Wethersfield.
The Narrows by Ann Petry is another choice

jul 7, 2011, 7:17pm

Again I should verify before posting, but I believe the main character in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court was a factory supervisor from Hartford.

nov 23, 2011, 8:44pm

Something Missing by Matthew Dicks takes place in CT- I can't remember exactly where, but I remember a number of the places were familiar. West Hartford/Farmington area I believe.

dec 16, 2011, 5:40pm

On Borrowed Wings by Chandra Prassad, a Connecticut author, is set in Branford and New Haven in the 1930s. It's about a young woman who assumes her brother's identity and goes to Yale. Very good read.

dec 27, 2011, 12:01am

Donald Westlake, The Ax.

dec 30, 2011, 6:32pm

Riding In Cars With Boys by Beverly Donofrio takes place in Wallingford CT. She grew up not far from where I live and went to the same high school.
Also, The Only Girl in the Car by Kathy Dobie takes place in Hamden CT. I know her brother, know the area so I kept trying to place all the places she was talking about!
Both memoirs about not particularly shining moments in their lives! The first was turned into a movie with Drew Barrymore.

apr 3, 2013, 3:47am

In reply to #19 (Sandydog1), one of my all-time favorite books is Edwin Way Teale's "A Walk Through the Year," in which he describes his daily walks around Trailwood, the old farm that he and his wife, Nellie, brought, worked, lived, loved and where they eventually died. Still one of my favorite Connecticut places to visit. Anyhow, this book (and all his others) have plenty of nature and are beautifully written.

apr 3, 2013, 8:14am

#30 - Douglas, good to see you!!!

apr 6, 2013, 10:42pm

>30 doogiewray:

I've covered, (hiked and birded) almost every inch of this State, but have never been there! I shall have to visit that CT Audubon site, soon.

apr 9, 2013, 11:21am

I highly recommend all of his books. He won Pulitzers for his nature writing. One of my favorite books, however, is Dune Boy, partly because I, too, grew up in the Indiana Dunes, but, also, because it is such a fun memoir, filled with charming folks.

You can read about Edwin Way Teale here:
Trailwood is so much sweeter if you have some knowledge of Edwin and Nellie's lives together.

jul 26, 2014, 9:32pm

I just finished that booklet Born Among the Hills. Excellent story of the history and conservation of that beautiful forested hunk of basalt, The Sleeping Giant.