Bookstores and Landmarks

My mother took us to Jack London’s house. On the drive along the Valley of the Moon, she told us about his life, his work, describing London’s novels Call of the Wild, White Fang, and then compared his writing to other works by various authors. She returned with us to Jack London’s house every time visitors arrived to stay at our house. We were raised around literature. We embraced great words written by authors. We drove to visit John Steinbeck’s Museum before arriving in Monterey to Cannery Row, where John Steinbeck wrote his novel about the fishing industry centered around the Pacific Coast, especially sardine canneries. We went to Jack London Square during Christmas south of downtown Oakland, California. We always visited bookstores. San Francisco held on to the buildings that housed the writers that no one would publish. City officials turned the landmark publishing sites into historical landmarks. My family and I still meet at City Lights Bookstore. Jack Kerouac has an alley named around him that joins Columbus with Chinatown’s Grant Avenue. The independent writers were published behind these walls to release masterworks upon the readers around the globe.

Thomas Chee

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