Summer Reads: Homes of Capote, Burroughs, Sinclair, Mailer, and More
Before you head off to the beach this summer, the perfect accessory — in addition to sunblock — is that of a good book. Here is a round-up of homes of literary icons from the past and present, some of which are even on the market now. These are homes where authors turned ideas into page-turners, and maybe even inspired the next book choice you dust off the shelf.
Truman Capote’s home (above)
For Sale: $15,900,000
A five-story, double-wide, Greek Revival townhouse not only brightens the Brooklyn street where it stands with its bright yellow exterior but holds a piece of history as the location where renowned author, Truman Capote, reportedly wrote perhaps his most famous work, “In Cold Blood.” The 11-bedroom, 7.5-bathroom home first hit the Brooklyn real estate market last May with an astounding $18 million asking price. The price dropped to $15.9 million at the beginning of this year.
As previously reported, Capote never owned the home, but rented the garden apartment there from 1955 to 1965, throwing endless high society parties and authoring other notable works like “A House on the Heights” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”
Harlan Coben’s home (above)
New York, NY
Sale Pending: $745,000
Sitting high above Central Park in the West 67th Historic District, this piece of Upper West Side real estate is situated in The Atelier building and has been an artists’ enclave since its construction in 1904. Once home to a Metropolitan Opera violinist, the apartment has been New York Times bestselling author Harlan Coben’s writing lair since 2007. According to property listings, the 700-square-foot one-bedroom place is currently under contract.
Best known for his thrillers “Tell No One,” “The Woods” and “Long Lost,” Coben bought the Gothic-styled apartment for $690,000 in 2007. The historic co-op retains much of its turn-of-the-century detailing, including leaded windows, a multi-paned picture window, dark paneled walls, oak doors and original cage elevator.
See more photos of Harlan Coben’s home
William Burroughs’ home (above)
St. Louis, MO
For Sale: $587,900
Not only a novelist but a poet and essayist as well, William Burroughs was one of the most prominent postmodernist authors of his time. As it turns out, the historic Burroughs’ childhood home is for sale. Hitting the St. Louis real estate market last November for $587,900, the Burroughs’ family home consists of 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and over 3,700 sq ft. Unique architectural features include mahogany paneling, leaded windows, cathedral ceilings, clay tile roof, copper gutters, and a brick rear garden “perfect for entertaining.”
See more photos of William Burroughs’ home
Upton Sinclair’s home (above)
Sale Pending: $1,195,000
Exposing the unsanitary conditions of the meat-packing industry in 500 pages, author Upton Sinclair caused a national uproar with his most notable book, “The Jungle.” The literary legend authored over 100 works in his lifetime ranging from fiction and drama to autobiographical and non-fiction. For the pieces written after 1942, Sinclair fans had a chance to see exactly where Sinclair’s thoughts hit paper.
The Upton Sinclair House, the home that Sinclair owned from 1942 to 1966, was recently for sale on the Monrovia real estate market for $1,195,000. The 2,380-sq ft home is included on the National Registry of Historic Places as well as named a National Historic Landmark. Currently pending sale, the Spanish Colonial Revival is a surprisingly romantic abode for the controversial writer, boasting 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, arched windows, an elegant living room, remodeled kitchen, and a separate guest house.
John Saul’s home (above)
Lopez Island, WA
For Sale: $2,195,000
Author of psychological thrillers like “Suffer the Children,” John Saul prefers island living and splits his time between the San Juan Islands in Washington and the Big Island of Hawaii. His home on Lopez Island in Washington is currently on the San Juans Islands real estate market for $2,195,000. The price was reduced by $400,000 May 29.
Built in 1981, the estate is named “Sea Oaks” and contains a little over four acres of waterfront property. The private, gated compound includes views of the Puget Sound, Orcas Island as well as Mt. Baker and the Cascade Mountain range. The 4-bedroom, 4-bath main house was built in a Northwest contemporary style and includes a guest house and other outbuildings.
See more photos of John Saul’s home.
Norman Mailer‘s home (above)
For Sale: $2,500,000
Described by The New York Times as a “quirky cross between a Victorian parlor and the cabin of a sailing yacht,” the Brooklyn apartment of two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Norman Mailer, is awaiting new owners who might have a style preference for sea-foam green carpet and velvet furniture.
Mailier’s 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartment recently entered the Brooklyn real estate market with a listing price of $2,500,000. Located in the Brooklyn Heights building, Mailer redesigned the 1840′s-built space in the 1960s to reflect a ship’s interior. The tri-level spaces features a renovated chef’s kitchen, balcony with harbor and city views, large dining area, and various cozy spots perfect for painting, reading, or lounging.
Anne Rice’s home (above)
Rancho Mirage, CA
No Longer Listed
Although it’s not currently for sale, Anne Rice’s writer’s retreat ranch has been on and off the Rancho Mirage real estate market for the past year. According to property records, the home was first listed for sale in April 2010 for $3.3 million. The price dropped in November of that year to $2.95 million, then down again in early 2011 to $2,799,999 before it was removed from listings.
Rice, best known for her romance and vampire novels, spent most of her writing career in New Orleans, but following the death of her husband, moved to the resort city of Rancho Mirage. She purchased the home for $3.6 million in 2005. The 6-bedroom, 7-bath home includes 9,156 sq ft of living space on a one-acre lot. The main house features marble fireplaces, a master suite with two bathrooms, office and exercise room, as well as glass walls overlooking the valley. Included on the property is a 2-bedroom guest house with third maid’s room.