Historic Inn Pays Tribute to Cape Cod Writers by Publishing the "Literary Map of Cape Cod"

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The Inn At the Oaks, a 13-room historic Inn located in Eastham, Ma, has published "The Literary Map of Cape Cod," a tribute to Cape Cod writers. The map profiles both classic and contemporary writers, including Eugene O'Neill, Norman Mailer, Tennessee Williams, Mary Oliver, Kurt Vonnegut, and many more.

Literary Map of Cape Cod

Cape Cod has become a magnet for writers of all kinds from the time that Thoreau walked the beaches in 1849 to the present day.

Cape Cod has a great tradition for inspiring writers, and the Inn At the Oaks, located in Eastham, MA, is continuing the tradition with the publication of a Literary Map of Cape Cod. The map shows where writers lived and worked, featuring both classic writers like Eugene O’Neil and e.e. cummings as well as contemporary writers like Mary Oliver and Nathaniel Philbrick. Beside each writer’s name is a short somewhat obscure factoid. Edward Gorey (who lived in Yarmouthport) wrote under pen names that were anagrams of his name, like Ogrden Weary. When Kurt Vonnegut first moved to the Cape, he was a salesman at a Saab dealership in West Barnstable. Jack Kerouac, who wrote for a time in the Dune Shacks near Provincetown, wrote the final draft of On the Road on a 20 foot roll of paper consisting of tracing paper taped together so he could type continuously without reloading paper.

The map also shows more than a dozen literary landmarks, from the Highland Lighthouse in Truro which Henry David Thoreau described as “a neat building in apple pie order,” to the Black Water pond and woods outside Provincetown, made famous by Mary Oliver’s Pulitzer Prize winning poem.

The Inn At the Oaks is also designated as a literary landmark for its association with the famed naturalist writer Henry Beston, who wrote The Outermost House in the 1920’s describing his year in a dune shack on Eastham’s Coast Guard Beach. Beston stayed at the Inn (then called the Overlook Inn) off and on in the 1920’s to escape some of the harshest days of winter and the green flies of summer. The innkeepers at that time would wave a lantern in the window to signal Beston that he had mail. Beston would signal back when he wanted to be picked up to go grocery shopping in nearby Orleans. It’s said that there was so much lantern-waving on the beach that the Coast Guard once questioned Beston as a suspected rum runner. The Inn’s Henry Beston Suite is now one of its most popular rooms.

Today the Inn at the Oaks is owned by Lawrence Shapiro, a prolific writer of self-help books, who started his writing career taking time off from his day job as a child psychologist and writing undisturbed in B and B’s and small hotels. Shapiro notes, “When I bought the Inn, I assumed that there are many writers like me who like to get away to write in a quiet place full of natural beauty, and there are few places more inspiring than the Outer Cape.” The Inn offers discounts for writers who want to get away for a week or more during the off-season.

The Literary Map of Cape Cod is available exclusively at the Inn’s gift store, or online at http://www.innattheoaks.com/store/.

The Inn At the Oaks is located across from the Salt Pond Visitor's Center at the National Seashore, 3085 State Highway, Eastham, MA. For reservations or information call: 877-255-1886.

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Samantha Stone
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