New York Public Library Lists the Best New York City Novels by Neighborhood

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The Best New York City Novels by Neighborhood

The New York Public Library just blogged this really cool list of the best New York City novels broken down by the neighborhood they take place in. Not every neighborhood has a book that has been written about it, but many neighborhoods do have famous books that represent them well.

For the reader who just can’t get enough of those busy city streets, or is just dying to know where exactly in the five boroughs their favorite characters are inhabiting, here is a list of famous New York City-based novels according to the neighborhood in which they take place—complete with an interactive map of nearby landmarks and attractions!


Financial District
American Psycho, by Brett Easton Ellis

World Trade Center
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer

Shoplifting from American Apparel, by Tao Lin

The Bowery/Five Points
The Gods of Gotham, by Lyndsey Faye

Lower East Side
Super Sad True Love Story, by Gary Shteyngart

The Flamethrowers, by Rachel Kushner

Alphabet City
Call It Sleep, by Henry Roth

Greenwich Village
Great Jones Street, by Don Delillo
Washington Square, by Henry James

Flatiron District
Ragtime, by E.L. Doctorow

Netherland, by Joseph O’Neill

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Times Square
A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan

Fifth Avenue
Breakfast at Tiffany’s, by Truman Capote

Central Park
The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

Upper East Side
The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton
The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath
The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

Upper West Side
Rosemary’s Baby, by Ira Levin
Open City, by Teju Cole

Push, by Sapphire
Jazz, by Toni Morrison
Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
Go Tell It on the Mountain, by James Baldwin


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith
Tropic of Capricorn, by Henry Miller
The Chosen, by Chaim Potok

Brown Girl, Brownstones, by Paule Marshall

Downtown Brooklyn
Brooklyn, by Colm Toibin

Brooklyn Heights
10:04, by Ben Lerner

Boerum Hill
The Fortress of Solitude, by Jonathan Lethem

Flatbush/Ditmas Park
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon Sophie’s Choice, by William Styron

Sunset Park/Bay Ridge
Last Exit to Brooklyn, by Hubert Selby Jr.


Native Speaker, by Chang Rae Lee

We Are Not Ourselves, by Matthew Thomas


South Bronx
Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann

West Bronx/Fordham
The Bonfire of the Vanities, by Tom Wolfe

Staten Island

Port Richmond
Small Mercies, by Eddie Joyce

Matt Coneybeare

Matt Coneybeare

Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

Matt enjoys exploring the City's food scene with his Wife and the outdoors with their three dogs. He is an avid marathon runner, and spends most of his time working from a treadmill desk at home.

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