Poll of New Yorkers reveals James Baldwin as the state’s favorite author

| 22 Aug 2023 | 02:13

Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Harper Lee ....

These iconic names are among the luminaries hailing from the United States. However, more locally, each state has produced their own homegrown authors who have left an indelible mark on literature with their diverse and significant contributions.

A survey of 3,000 respondents by StoicQuotes.com shed light on each state’s most cherished authors, revealing some intriguing outcomes. Living authors were not included in the survey.


Consider Alabama. While many might presume Harper Lee, famed for “To Kill a Mockingbird,” to be the state’s favored author, it was Helen Keller who garnered the majority of votes. Born in Tuscumbia in 1880, Keller’s youth was overshadowed by an illness rendering her blind and deaf. Yet, under Anne Sullivan’s unwavering mentorship, Keller transcended her adversities, evolving into a revered author and speaker. Throughout her journey, Keller held a profound affection for Alabama, often alluding to it as her treasured homeland.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire’s choice, too, was unexpected. J.D. Salinger, celebrated for “The Catcher in the Rye,”was surpassed by Grace Metalious. Born in 1924, Metalious gained acclaim for “Peyton Place,” a 1956 novel that boldly tackled taboo topics, juxtaposing them against the backdrop of a seemingly quaint New Hampshire town.

New York

New Yorkers also did not vote predictably.

Despite F. Scott Fitzgerald penning “The Great Gatsby,” he wasn’t New Yorkers’ top literary pick. That honor belonged to James Baldwin, renowned for “Go Tell It on the Mountain.”

This 1953 semi-autobiographical novel delves into intricate subjects like religion, race, and family dynamics, portraying the life of John Grimes, a young African American boy navigating his identity amidst a religious upbringing in Harlem.

New Yorkers’ second choice was the aforementioned F. Scott Fitzgerald, followed by J.D. Salinger (third).

For more information, including an interactive map showing each state’s favorite author, visit StoicQuotes.com.