An Unconventional Journey to the Library of Congress

by Alice Leccese Powers

For the last dozen years I have edited a literary travel series. My books collect the impressions, in both fiction and non-fiction, of authors touring through Europe: Hemingway in Paris, Edith Wharton in Italy, Frances Mayes in her beloved Tuscany. For a bibliophile this is provocative work, but the first thing I am asked is: "So, you have to travel to those places to do your research?"  And "tough gig" is the customary response.

The truth is that I have traveled to those places-Italy, Ireland, France and Spain-but not to do literary research. For that I venture t...

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