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Beach Reads: Famous Authors' Homes For Sale

Summer is the season for frivolous beach reads - or for the more ambitious, an opportunity to tackle all the Russian masters or some other lofty literature goal.

As you become engrossed in your book of choice, do you ever find yourself wondering where it was written? (I haven't written any novels, but most of my twelve non-fiction books on real estate and personal finance were written in my home office of my 1880s refurbished farm house on Chicago's North Shore.)

A number of famous authors have recently put their homes on the market. These properties could be yours, and might inspire you to write the Great American novel. Take a look ...

280 Nassau Street Princeton, NJ 08540

Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Bluest Eye, Sula, Beloved and many other brilliant works, teacher and activist Toni Morrison has put her stunning New Jersey home up for sale. The five-bedroom, three-bathroom home is listed for $1.75 million in picturesque Princeton.

Morrison's home is an impeccably and recently restored treasure of Princeton's past, built originally in 1880 by the Rev. William Harris. The renovation included the bathrooms and the addition of a stunning caterer's kitchen. I'm willing to bet she's cooked more than one meal for her gal pal Oprah Winfrey in these digs.

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70 Willow Street Brooklyn, New York 11021

There's nothing like a murder mystery as a beach read. But if true crime stories are more your cup of tea, you might want to take a look around this author's property.

Truman Capote's residence while he was writing his seminal work In Cold Blood is on sale for $15.9 million. Though Capote never owned the home, he rented the garden apartment there from 1955 until 1965. Capote, always known as a bon vivant, threw countless parties onsite and also wrote the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's.

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The five-story, double-width, high Greek-Revival four-bay townhouse was built in 1839. The 10-bedroom house is attributed to architect Calvin Pollard and the lush interior period detail was designed by Minard Lafever. The stairway is pure magic!

142 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY 11201

The home of another master of creative non-fiction has been put on the market. Norman Mailer's Brooklyn apartment is listed for $2.5 million.
Mailer won two Pulitzer's and the National Book Award during his prestigious 60-year career. He wrote The Executioner's Song, The Naked and the Dead and contributed regularly to Esquire and The New Yorker.

The loft for sale was designed by Mailer in the early 1960's, and feels like being on a boat with its distinct nautical theme. It is a three-bedroom, two-bathroom 6,875 square foot apartment with a stunning view of the harbor and city. A recently renovated full chef's kitchen opens into a cozier dining spot. The property is an unusual and unique living space that can accommodate a variety of lifestyles, and is perfect for entertaining.

Do you think living in a famous writer's house would inspire you to achieve artistic greatness?

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Ilyce R. Glink is the author of several books, including 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask and Buy, Close, Move In!. She blogs about money and real estate at and The Equifax Personal Finance Blog, and is Chief Content Strategist at, a community for real estate investors.
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