I am Andrea Badgley. I would love to travel the entire United States in person, but until the day we can make that happen, I’m going to travel the States in books.
book and martini
My husband and I have moved many times: from Georgia to Maryland, to Florida and Maine, to Minnesota, and finally, to Virginia. Each time we relocated, I researched our new home not in welcome bureaus or newcomer guides, but through fiction. Well-set novels taught me about the land and its people, its culture, its history, and its idiosyncracies.

For this blog I hope to visit the entire United States through literature. I plan to read 3 books set in each of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, with the following authorships represented in every locale:

  • men
  • women
  • non-Caucasian writers

I want to see the state from different points of view. Whenever possible, I would like to read authors who are native to or are longtime residents of the state they set their fiction in, for whom the land is a part of their psyche.

On Andrea Reads America you will find literature capsules from each state and from different regions of the US, favorite quotes, my reaction to books, and tools for locating titles geographically.

If you have a favorite book set in a particular state, in which the sense of place is so memorable it becomes another character in the narrative, I would love to hear from you.  Please click the Suggest a title link above and tell me about it.  If you are a writer and would like to submit your own story, I have also incorporated a creative nonfiction component to my reading journey. Please check the guidelines on my American Vignette call for submissions. Thank you, and happy literary travels!

About the author

GM gravatar from luca cropAndrea Badgley holds a B.S. in Ecology, but left that field to raise children and write. Her work appears in Southern Women’s Review, on the Brevity blog, and on The Daily Post at WordPress.com. She grew up on the coast of Georgia and now lives with her husband and two children in the Appalachian mountains of Virginia. She writes creative nonfiction on her Butterfly Mind blog, which has been honored with the Freshly Pressed blogging award by the editors at WordPress.com. Follow her on Twitter @andreabadgley.

15 thoughts on “About

  1. I noticed you said, non-Caucasian writers. Which black female writers have you been discovering so far. I’m trying to read more in that regards. Let me know if they’re any you’d recommend. I’m a Zora Neale Hurston kind a girl in case you’re wondering. Love her work 🙂

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    1. Hi Tricia, I like Zora Neale Hurston, too 🙂 I also love Alice Walker and the short stories I’ve heard by Edwidge Danticat and Jamaica Kincaid on The New Yorker fiction podcast. Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou are of course beloved, and I am looking forward to reading Jesmyn Ward’s novel, Salvage the Bones, which won the 2011 National Book Award and is about a family on the Mississippi coast and their preparations as a hurricane bears down on them (Katrina). If you’d like more ideas, I’ve posted titles and a photo gallery you can use as a resource: https://andreareadsamerica.com/2014/03/12/authors-of-color-from-each-us-state-photo-gallery/. Thanks so much for stopping by, and have fun exploring new authors.

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      1. Oh my goodness, you mean Jesmyn Ward. I was just reading about her today– like 2 hours ago– and I wondered how I never heard of her.

        I will definitely check the link. You are most welcome. We writers need to explore. Though I just started a blog a week ago, I’m learning so much already from writers on WordPress. It’s super exciting 🙂

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  2. I love your blog idea, and it gives you an opportunity to explore and discover many different worlds within each state. The two links below will provide great research ideas as you explore Maine.

    http://www.malagaislandmaine.org/index.htm
    https://savingplaces.org/stories/the-abyssinian-meeting-house-maines-untold-african-american-heritage#.WF6H27YrKRs

    PS: When you get to New Mexico, check out the Pueblo Indians in the area of Albuquerque NM area. They have a fascinating history, dating back 1000- plus years.

    Marty, travel writer and blogger.

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  3. Late to the party, but for a non-well-known-enough black woman writer, check out Octavia E. Butler. I’m currently reading ‘The Parable of the Talents”, which is a near-future dystopian America, written in 1998, which features a President who wants to ‘make America great’. It’s actually a sequel to “The Parable of the Sower”, which I didn’t realize when I started it, but either, way, highly recommended!

    For Minnesota, Native woman Louise Erdrich.

    Louisiana: Kate Chopin is a 19th-c. white woman.

    Ernest J. Gaines, “A Lesson Before Dying”.

    “A Confederacy of Dunces”, John Kennedy Toole. White guy, but this is probably *the* novel about New Orleans. Funny as hell. People seem to love it or hate it.

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