Fifty States Of Fiction: Kansas


We can’t always travel to the places on our bucket list. But we can go there with books! I started the Fifty States Of Fiction challenge with the aim of reading one book from every state in the country. Each week in 2017 I’ll be here to talk about a different state, share with you some geographical fun facts, and explore how a novel, play, or personal narrative captures the essence of the area. Want to follow along? Check out this free printable calendar I’ve created just for you! Let’s get started!


Today’s State: Kansas

Nickname: Sunflower State

Motto: “To the Stars through Difficulties”

Bird: Western meadowlark

Flower: Wild sunflower

Entered the union in: 1861

Now, pack your bags everybody. We’re about to explore Kansas as Truman Capote portrays it in In Cold Blood.


“Out there” in the high wheat plains of western Kansas, sits the small, simple town of Holcomb. Inhale the breeze that rustles through the expansive wheat fields stretching east and west. Listen to the rumbling river and highway that exist in the north. Gaze out across the brown land of Arkansas that stretches far down into the south. From here you can see everything. The land is flat and it stretches out for miles underneath the hard blue Kansas skies. The countryside is lonesome. Lives are simple here. But not for long. On November 15th, 1959, four members of the Clutter family are gruesomely murdered inside their handsome white house. With four shotgun blasts, mother, father, daughter, and son are dead. Fear and paranoia consumes the quiet town of Holcomb in the aftermath of the killings. Who could do such a thing? And where have the killers gone?

Have you read any other books set in Kansas? Have you traveled there yourself? Make sure to let me know what the Sunflower State means to you in the comments! Check back here next week to explore Kentucky through literature.

And remember, if you want to keep up with our schedule as we travel the country, you can download my free printable calendar.

See you all next week!


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