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Author Audio Tour

“In New York you are your own person. You may reach out and embrace all of Manhattan in sweet aloneness, or you can go to hell if you want to.”—Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman

In 2017, HarperCollins Publishers celebrates its 200th anniversary. The company was founded in New York City by brothers James and John Harper, and NYC is where many of the bestselling, renowned HarperCollins authors found both shelter and inspiration. Zora Neale Hurston, Harper Lee, Richard Wright, and Betty Smith, to name a few, all lived and wrote in the Big Apple, a place that could either “destroy an individual, or it can fulfill him, depending a good deal on luck,” according to E. B. White.

Click below Click the numbers on the map to take an audio listening tour of New York City, where talented HarperCollins authors lived and wrote, including Mark Twain, who described the city this way: “I have at last, after several months' experience, made up my mind that it is a splendid desert—a domed and steeped solitude, where the stranger is lonely in the midst of a million of his race.”


James Harper:
4 Gramercy Park West

James Harper, one of the founders of HarperCollins Publishers, pioneered practices that would soon be a part of every American publishing house.


Samuel Clemens
(Mark Twain):

14 West 10th Street

Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, moved to this address at the age of 64 after spending 9 years in Europe.


Zora Neale Hurston:
43 West 66th Street

Zora Neale Hurston, author of Their Eyes Were Watching God, arrived in Manhattan in 1925 after a short story she wrote received an award from Opportunity magazine.


Betty Smith:
702 Grand Street

Betty Smith, best known for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, was born in Williamsburg.


Harper Lee:
433 East 82nd Street

Although she was born in Monroeville, Alabama, the real-life counterpart to Maycomb in To Kill A Mockingbird, at age 23, Harper Lee moved to New York City to fulfill her dream of becoming a writer.


Edna St. Vincent Millay:
75½ Bedford Street

Although poet Edna St. Vincent Millay only resided at 75½ Bedford Street between 1923 and 1924, she is the person most associated with the address.


Richard Wright:
101 Lefferts Place &
89 Lefferts Place, Brooklyn

Richard Wright, author of Black Boy and Native Son, moved to Brooklyn in 1937 and soon after, Harper & Brothers decided to publish his first short story collection, Uncle Tom’s Children.


Maurice Sendak:
29 West 9th Street

During the 1960s, Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are, lived in a duplex apartment at 29 West 9th Street in Greenwich Village.

Map of New York City