Here is Smith’s debut novel, White Teeth. The nearest book setting/author residence combo is a distance of 0 miles.
On the other end of the spectrum is Roberto Bolaño’s 2666. Bolaño never visited Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, the city his novel’s Santa Teresa is based on. However, he was in frequent contact with Sergio González Rodríguez, an investigative journalist who reported extensively on the murders of women in Ciudad Juárez that form the factual bedrock of Bolaño’s novel.
Here are the rest of them. We found that 61 of the 100 books on the list are at least partly set in a place an author lived in. For the other 39 books, the median minimum distance between a setting and an author residence is only 73.7 miles.
The other notable outlier is John Updike’s Rabbit at Rest, the fourth and final book in a series that follows one man through 30 years. In the novel, protagonist Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom retires to Florida, having spent the first three books of the series in the fictional city of Brewer, Pennsylvania. Updike was a Pennsylvania native himself; Rabbit is thus a character steeped in and transplanted from a setting his creator was extremely familiar with.
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