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Location, Location, Location: Cities in Fiction

Does it matter where the novel is set? A recent report by Bowker, the world's leading provider of bibliographic information, examined 13,000 works of fiction. They found 1,500 of the novels had an identifiable location. It is unclear how the vast majority of books had setting so obscure as not to indicate the location. The press release is silent on this issue.

Bowker found that the favourite settings included: ”England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland. New York topped the list of cities, followed by London, Los Angeles (including Hollywood), Chicago, San Francisco and Washington D.C.” In the top ten list, the only non-American cities were London and Rome.

There was no mention of an Asian city: Tokyo, Beijing, Singapore, Shanghai or Bangkok.

The fastest growing market sector was fiction with African-American and Hispanic characters.

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