That writers are drawn to the breeding grounds of their forebears is little wonder. Beyond admiration and a particular tourism, we seek inspiration perhaps. If we drink from Hemingway’s watering hole, maybe, just maybe, we’ll craft a sentence or three that sings with a special melody.
But readers, not writers, are the most suitable literary tourists. For the rewards are found in the work, and in finding clues to its magic in the world that nurtured the work. Though Chicago has certainly housed its share of literary greats, the small towns of the Midwest seem especially fertile in shaping those who’ve shaped our shared imagination. And so we set out on the road, to towns north, south and west, all a day’s drive or less, in search of truth behind the truths. (Brian Hieggelke)