Still, it was a little crushing to read in the Chicago Tribune that Chicago is definitely the place. "After hearing pitches from several cities, including St. Paul, Minn., and New Haven, Conn., the American Writers Museum is headed for Chicago," the Tribune piece reports.
Contacted today, O'Hagan hedges a bit. "Laurie, Chicago remains the #1 choice and there is very strong interest at all levels there," he said in an e-mail." We have asked for certain commitments by year end and until we get them nothing is settled. If Chicago does not work out then St. Paul is in the running."
Commitments? Well, for one thing, the museum still has no real funding.
The museum--inspired, but not to be modeled after, Dublin's writers museum--is envisioned as interactive, with traveling displays and heavy use of technology, rather than something staid and display-bound.
Patrick Coleman, acquisitions librarian for the Minnesota State Historical Society (which might be shutting down tomorrow, but that's a different story), was recently appointed to the American Writers Museum board. Sadly, Coleman reports that he won't have any sway over the location of the museum ("I think Malcolm will pretty much decide where the museum goes," he said) but he will get to help choose which writers are represented. "Fitz and Lewis first!" he said.