Henry Miller Memorial Library
A number of authors have done time in Big Sur, soaking in the remote wilderness and sea air to gather inspiration for their work. Henry Miller lived and wrote in Big Sur for 18 years, and one of his works is titled for the area.
Today the Henry Miller Memorial Library (Hwy. 1, 0.25 mile north of Deetjens, 831/667-2574, www.henrymiller.org, Wed.–Mon. 11 a.m.–6 p.m.) celebrates the life and work of Miller and his brethren in this quirky community center/ museum/coffee shop/gathering place. The library is easy to find as you drive either north or south on Highway 1—look for the hand-painted sign and funky fence decorations.
What you won’t find is a typical lending library, bookshop, or slicked-up museum. Instead, you’ll wander the lovely sun-dappled meadow soaking in the essence of Miller’s life here, come inside and talk to the docents about the racy novels Miller wrote, and maybe sit back with a cup of coffee to meditate on life and art and isolated gorgeous scenery.
The library offers a glimpse into the “real” world of Big Sur as a spread-out artists’ colony that has inspired countless works by hundreds of people.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition