2008 Literary Landmarks

  • Idlewild Public Library, Idlewild, Mich. Idlewild is the Black Eden of 20th century African American history. It was the vacation destination for writers such as Charles Chestnutt, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, and W. E. B. DuBois. At Idlewild, writers and entertainers created a separate place for African American culture and thought to blossom in one of the few locations where African Americans were welcome to vacation and releax. Partners: Idlewild Public Library, Library of Michigan, and the Michigan Center for the Book. Dedicated Aug. 16, 2008.

  • Mother Colony House, Anaheim, Calif. The Mother Colony House is the oldest frame building in Anaheim. It was here that Henryke Sienkiewicz resided with Madame Helena Modejeska in 1876. He is one of the most popular Polish writers and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1905 for his outstanding merits as an epic writer. He is best known as the author of Quo Vadis. While in Anaheim he wrote Lity z podrozy (“Letters form a Journey”) and was inspired to write two short stories about Orange County: “A Comedy of Errors” and “Orso: An American Hercules” (set in Anaheim). Dedicated June 29, 2008.

  • American Philosophical Society Library, Philadelphia, Pa. The American Philosophical Society Library is home of the Col. Richard Gimbel Collection of Thomas Paine Papers An important 18th century radical republican theorist and political writer, Thomas Paine was a leading figure in the American Revolution. Despite his humble beginnings and lack of formal education, his reasoned and persuasive writings not only influenced nascent American republican ideology, but profoundly affected the perception of government in England and France. His three most influential works are Common Sense (1776), The Rights of Man (1791-1792), and The Age of Reason (1794, 1795, 1807). Dedicated Jan. 14, 2008.