At the heart of New York City and its glitz and noise lies a place holding hidden gems: Brooklyn.
A haven for writers and a hub for inspiration, Brooklyn’s artistic residents are known for their compelling storytelling skills.
As a result of its inhabitants, Brooklyn has served as the point from where multiple fictional worlds, memorable characters, and prose became available to everyone present outside.
If you’re looking into building a writing career, studying Brooklyn Book Writers is a strong starting point.
Writers from this region hail from diverse backgrounds, and their coverage of various genres proves how creativity knows no bounds.
Mentioned below are examples of Brooklyn Book Writers whose writing has become an exemplary part of modern literature:
Born in 1819, Walt Whitman was an American poet and journalist.
Whitman’s writing has etched his name among literature influences not just in Brooklyn but globally.
Although born in West Hills, New York, Walt Whitman moved to Brooklyn at an early age and spent the majority of his life there.
Between the 1840s and 1850s, Whitman worked as a journalist, which served as a time for experimenting and developing his signature poetry style.
Following this period came Whitman’s most famous work, which solidified his place in the American canon and earned him the title of father of free verse;
The work under discussion was his poem collection, ‘Leaves of Grass,’ whose prose explored the connection between the human body, love, and nature.
Leaves of Grass became a critically acclaimed classic as it departed from traditional poetry structures and didn’t comply with a rigid format, using free verse.
Walt Whitman’s residence in Brooklyn wasn’t his only connection to the place; due to living there, Whitman took reference from his surroundings and set many of his writings in Brooklyn.
Born in 1924 in New Orleans, Louisiana, Truman Capote was an American novelist and playwright.
Capote’s writing career drew recognition in his late 30s when he released his infamous works ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ and ‘In Cold Blood’ in 1958 and 1965.
When Truman Capote moved to Brooklyn, he started working on his famous literary works.
The influence of Capote’s time in New York is fairly noticeable in his novella, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, as it hints at a similar flamboyance and glamorous lifestyle as one found in the city.
Capote falls under the best Brooklyn Book Writers as his works introduced the concept of detailed descriptions with vivid imagery to multiple genres.
His work ‘In Cold Blood’, was based on real events; written as a mix between fiction and journalism, it opened future writers to experimenting with several themes, rather than aligning to one genre.
You cannot talk about Brooklyn Book Writers without mentioning Betty Smith.
Born as Elisabeth Wehner in 1896, in Brooklyn, Betty Smith was an American author.
Smith’s magnum opus was her work ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn’. The book followed a semi-autobiographical, coming-of-age narrative and told the story of an immigrant family residing in a neighborhood in Brooklyn.
Smith’s book became a symbolic representation of hope and striving to achieve the American Dream; it resonated with people who lived the reality of being immigrants in America.
Among the mentioned writers, Betty Smith’s connection to Brooklyn is most visible in writing as it adequately captures the sense of community in the region.
Born in 1967, in London, England, Jhumpa Lahiri is an American fiction author.
Lahiri’s connection to Brooklyn exists as the author spent a brief period in the borough, where she penned down a few of her works.
Jhumpa Lahiri’s most critically acclaimed work is a collection of short stories titled ‘Interpreter of Maladies’; the book was a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
Lahiri’s writing explored the complexities and challenges of being an immigrant in Western society, a topic she approached expertly due to living with parents who were Bengali immigrants.
His books such as ‘Interpreter of Maladies’ and ‘The Namesake’ are among the author’s bestsellers; they discuss the topics of identity, relationships, intimacy, and existence with a delicacy and attentiveness that is rarely found in writing today.
Although never a Brooklyn resident, Colm Tóibín is one of the writers whose connection to the borough earns him a spot on this list.
Born in 1955, in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Ireland, Colm Tóibín is an Irish novelist, essayist, and short story writer.
The writer’s association with Brooklyn is due to his 2009 book by the same name.
Brooklyn, the book, follows the story of a girl who emigrates to Brooklyn during the 1950s.
Similar to Lahiri’s work, Tóibín’s Brooklyn explored the challenges and feelings associated with navigating a city as an immigrant.
Despite no physical exposure to Brooklyn, Tóibín’s book was well-received and received a movie adaptation because the author’s research led to a realistic portrayal of the borough.
Concluding the list is an author who not only resided in Brooklyn but was an active part of the borough’s literary community, Jennifer Egan.
Born in 1962, in Chicago, Illinois, Jennifer Egan is an American author and essay writer.
Although born in a different state, Egan spent a major part of her life in Brooklyn.
Her popular works include A Visit from the Goon Squad, The Invisible Circus, and Manhattan Beach; among these, the first novel won Egan the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
A Visit from the Goon Squad is a collection of interconnected stories.
Jennifer Egan’s writing was known for its focus on understanding identity, time, and how human relationships affect people.
Egan is among the writers who not only made their own space in the borough but left a mark there with their presence; Jennifer Egan has majorly influenced the contemporary writing scene in Brooklyn.
Looking at the list of writers from Brooklyn reveals that many literary legends have roots in the borough.
Not only did their writing style, but also their stories reflect the people, community, and environment of Brooklyn.