MAP: The Literary Map of Detroit, Frank D. Rashid, Marygrove College

The Literary Map of Detroit, which is edited by Frank D. Rashid of Marygrove College, is one of the more interesting literary maps that I have come across. The map is clean and well laid out, but the quality of the content is what sets it apart from other maps.

In the summer of 2014 as I began working on Booma, I spoke with Professor Rashid about his process: unlike many maps, which often look superficially at settings that appear in literature, Professor Rashid, with the support of students, keeps track of locations in and near Detroit that appear repeatedly in literature and poetry. Once he has a location that has been mentioned in several works, he seeks out someone who is familiar with the place and asks them to write an article about how the written descriptions and the real world intersect. The result is a series of entries that capture the landscape of one of America’s most rapidly changing cities.

Book and literary maps are multifaceted in that they can be used to better understand a written work and also to reveal more about a place. The Literary Map of Detroit falls well into this latter category. Give it look: http://www.marygrove.edu/academics/institutes/institute-for-detroit-studies/literary-map-of-detroit.html.

What approach do you prefer–mapping books or mapping the literature of a place? Know of a book or literary map that we should share? Send your thoughts to booma@booma.us.

See the rest of our posts about maps here: http://booma.us/category/map/.