Five Best Books About Writers on the Run

From a Wall Street Journal story by Patrick Bixby headlined “Five Best Books About Writers on the Run”:

The Big Sea
By Langston Hughes (1940)

1. Langston Hughes begins this autobiography and travel memoir with an astonishing scene: In the spring of 1923, having recently taken a job as a mess boy on a freighter, the promising young poet gathers all the books he had acquired during a brief interval at Columbia University and unceremoniously heaves them into the waters off Sandy Hook, N.J. Bibliophiles may recoil at the thought, but for the 21-year-old Hughes, “it was like throwing a million bricks out of my heart—for it wasn’t only the books that I wanted to throw away, but everything unpleasant and miserable out of my past.”