Philip Roth didn't have to invent a Macondo or a Yoknapatawpha County. From the very start of his career, he situated significant portions of his fiction in a place you can find pretty easily on a map: Essex County, New Jersey.
As someone who spent half her childhood (ages 9-18) growing up in Essex County, I particularly appreciated yesterday's Paper Cuts post on Roth, a most famous literary "Jersey Boy." (Did you know that that his first book of stories, Goodbye Columbus, was published 50 years ago this week? Happy Birthday to Roth's debut book.)