Cortez writes "The Mercantile Library of New York has been transformed into the first center in the U.S. to be devoted entirely to the art of fiction.
The Library, one of the oldest cultural institutions in the city, houses one of the best collections of fiction in the country.
In celebration the library will host an awards ceremony on November 8 at the Century Club.
The first annual Maxwell E. Perkins Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Field of Fiction will be given to Nan Talese of Doubleday. Author James Purdy will receive the 2005 Clifton Fadiman Medal for Excellence in Fiction. The Center for Fiction is also debuting The Art of Fiction Series, which brings authors to the library to read from their books and talk about the importance of fiction, reading, and the writing life. In conjunction with the changes, the Library's Writing Studio is also moving to a better location within the building. The Studio is the only literary work space in the country entirely dedicated to writers of fiction.
Membership libraries have a long and distinguished history: see here