Reading Arizona: The Literary Landscape is an online map plotting one hundred favorite books related to the 48th state.
This literary trail was blazed in honor of Arizona’s Centennial Celebration by Pima County Public Library, in partnership with the Arizona State Library. Librarians across the state were asked to nominate Arizona books and authors for the project, and input was also solicited from specialists in Arizona history and culture. The committee whittled down the list until it reflected a cross-section of books representing all areas of the state. A quote from each book, locating it geographically, is included along with the book’s title, author, and publication date.
Books for all ages are included because there’s lots of great Arizona literature to go around. And, even though plenty of memorable fiction has emerged from the Grand Canyon State, it would be a mistake to skip nonfiction. From rattlesnakes, to jumping cholla, to the OK Corral, there’s absolutely nothing make-believe about the Arizona experience, so get your reality check here.
The map is a reflection of Arizona literature on the day the state marks the Centennial of its statehood, February 14, 2012; there are no plans to alter it through additions or deletions. But, since there are a lot more than 100 great books about Arizona, the map is accompanied by a searchable list of Arizona-based books. Suggestions and comments for additions to the list are welcome.
Reading Arizona: The Literary Landscape was made possible by funds granted by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records Agency under the Library Services and Technology Act, which is administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Special thanks to K. Jennifer Berry for invaluable technical assistance.
For suggestions about significant Arizona books, thanks to
W. David Laird
and Arizona librarians statewide.