Slim Aarons took this photo of Truman Capote in 1958, when the author was in his thirties. His penchant for all things kitsch is on display, but the silk wall hanging for whatever reason just kills us. You can view more of Aarons’ photos at Photographers Gallery.
Norman Mailer’s apartment in Brooklyn Heights
The caption reads: “In the author’s raucous younger years there was a hammock strung up between the rafters, a trapeze swing dangling from the ceiling and a rope ladder, providing a more adventurous way to scale the apartment.” You can see more images of Norman Mailer’s expansive, book-filled apartment in The New York Times here.
Hemingway’s house in Key West, Florida
Papa Hemingway loved hunting, drinking, and reading, and his airy winter retreat in Key West proves it. The only thing this photo is missing is a six-toed cat.
Fyodor Dostoevsky’s desk in his apartment in Saint Petersburg, Russia
Image courtesy of the University of Washington Libraries
Our favorite Slavophile lived at this address during the last years of his life, when he was writing The Brothers Karamazov. The apartment was turned into a museum in the late 1990s, so fans can head over to Vladimirskaya/Dostoyevskaya metro and run their hands across the woodwork or try to create a distraction so they can sit at his desk, pretending they too have a glorious beard and intense, world-weary eyes from years of political exile.
Gertrude Stein’s and Alice B. Toklas’ Paris abode
Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas in the apartment at 27 rue de Fleurus, Paris, 1922; Photo credit: Man Ray; private collection
This is where Stein amassed her unparalleled modern art collection, and this is also where salons would be held on Saturday evenings, where Guillaume Apollinaire and Georges Braque would banter about whatever renown poets and artists banter about when they’re together.
Yukio Mishima’s house in Tokyo
Photo credit: Farfalla Tokyo
We recently ran a post about contemporary Japanese writers, but since Yukio Mishima is no longer living, we decided not to include him on the list. As reparations, here is the entrance to his home in Tokyo. Serious Japanophiles can see interior images of his house in Kishin Shinoyama’s photo book, Yukio Mishima’s House.
Agatha Christie’s English summer home
The BBC features images of it pre-renovation here, while the Telegraph has some illuminating photos here.
Agatha Christie bought Greenway, a Georgian mansion on the southern tip of England, in the late 1930s. At the time, Christie bought the mansion and 33-acre property for £6,000, and then had an architect renovate it, reportedly telling him, “I want a big bath and I need a ledge because I like to eat apples.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s study
The Longfellow House is now a national historic site, but the 19th century poet lived here with his wife and three children, as well as with his brother, Reverend Samuel Longfellow. You can take a virtual tour of the house and grounds here.
John Steinbeck’s home in Salinas, California
Image via This Recording
The Nobel Prize-winning author of The Grapes of Wrath and the novella Of Mice and Men (not to mention his magnum opus, East of Eden) was born and raised in Salinas, AKA “The Salad Bowl of America.”
Gwendolyn Brooks outside of her home in Chicago
Even though it was taken outside, we couldn’t resisting adding another photo by Slim Aarons. The photographer captured the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet on the steps outside her house in Chicago. Gwendolyn Brooks lived in the city for most of her life, becoming the Poet Laureate of Illinois in 1968. Interested collectors can find C-prints here, and you can find an expansive book of her poetry here.