2014 Literary Landmarks

  • Carl Schurz Park, New York, N.Y. Louise Fitzhugh (1928-1974) used the park as a setting in Harriet the Spy, a classic that has entertained young readers and inspired future writers. In the park, Harriet follows Ole Golly on her date with Mr. Waldenstein, gathers a frog to put in Marion Hawthorne’s desk at school, and plays a game of tag with the kids in her class. But most importantly, Harriet takes her notebook to the park and sits on a bench, writing under the trees. Partners: Empire State Center for the Book, Random House Children’s Books, and the Carl Schurz Park Conservancy. Dedicated Dec. 7, 2014.
  • Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site and Interpretive Center, Huntington Station, N.Y.  Poet and journalist Walt Whitman (1819-1892) taught at Long Island schools, and founded a weekly newspaper in Huntington that continues to this day. Memories of this house and of Long Island had a major influence on his writing.  Partners: Suffolk County Library Association, Suffolk School Library Media Association, Lambda Literary Foundation, Empire State Center for the Book. Dedicated Sept. 5, 2014.
  • Alex Haley Museum & Interpretive Center, Henning, Tenn. The boyhood home of Alex Haley (1921-1992)  was built by his grandfather, William E. Palmer, in 1919. It served as a seat of inspiration for Haley's Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family.  Partners: Tennessee Historical Commission, Alex Haley Museum & Interpretive Center Staff and Board. Dedicated Aug. 9, 2014.
  • Jon Hassler Library, Central Lakes College, Brainerd, Minn. Jon Hassler (1933-2008) launched his writing career while teaching English and humanities at Brainerd Community College (now Central Lakes College). Hassler was a novelist who captured small town life as it took place in Minnesota towns such as Staggerford and Rookery. Dedicated May 17, 2014.
  • Yorkville Community School, New York, N.Y. Bernard Waber (1921-2013) used East 88th Street as a setting for his Lyle the Crocodile picture books, starting with The House on East 88th Street (1962). Lyle lives in a brownstone on East 88th Street with the Primm family, whose children attend a school much like Yorkville Community School. Partners: Empire State Center for the Book, The Children's Book Council, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Yorkville Community School PTA. Dedicated May 14, 2014.
  • Lake Oswego Public Library, Lake Oswego, Ore. William Stafford (1914-1993), who lived in Lake Oswego for 46 years, was poet laureate of Oregon 1975-79 and poetry consultant to Library of Congress 1970-71. Stafford received the National Book Award for his poetry collection Traveling Through the Dark (1963). All but one of his more than 60 books was written in Oregon. He was an ardent supporter of the Lake Oswego Public Library, and he dedicated the present library in 1983. Partner: Friends of Lake Oswego Public Library. Dedicated Feb. 25, 2014.