For the New Jersey Author Adventures Trail, we profile the birthplace of James Fenimore Cooper and a childhood home of Stephen Crane. We also offer information about the F. Scott Fitzgerald collection at Princeton University, some of which can now be viewed online. These three literary geniuses are perhaps only connected by the geography of New Jersey, as they are from very different eras and write about different subjects. However, a common thread in their works may be that they are a social commentary about the people of the time.
The earliest of these writers is James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851), followed by Stephen Crane (1871-1900) and then F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940).
In more recent years, one of the most famous Young Adult authors in US history, who emerged mostly in the 1970s and 1980s, came from New Jersey–Judy Blume. She wrote many bestselling books, including the continuously popular Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. In 2010, Blume was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame, which has a mobile museum. Though technology has changed in the course of her publishing, the timeless characters and plots have kept Blume’s place in public and school libraries.
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