At age 56, I realize that my energy to gas up my car and visit schools to speak to young people is beginning to wane. Still, Iím a cheerleader for reading, which I see as the only possible avenue to intellectual growth, not to mention the great pleasure that reading offers. My readers, both younger and older, may pick up a book of mine and read it from cover to cover, and I find this devotion to a literary life very moving. It is so moving, in fact, that I want to take it one step further. My next project will be the creation of a small museum that will provide a glimpse into my life as a writer.

There are a number of writers’ houses throughout the country. There are houses devoted to the life and work of Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott, William Faulkner, Edith Wharton, and Walt Whitman. I make no comparison, yet I am linked to these writers, and the writers even before them. The museumís purpose is the preservation of my literary materials, which I offer as a gift to Fresno, my hometown. Fresno has been the setting for a good many of my novels, short stories, essays, and poems. My thirty-five plus books have sold nearly four million copies and my work has been featured in thirty million textbooks, so I figure there might be some curiosity regarding my writing life.

The Gary Soto Literary Museum opened at Fresno City College in February 2011. It is located in the Old Administration Building, first floor, west wing. To arrange a tour, call the College Activities office at (559) 265-5711. For those unable to visit in person, here are some photos of the space.

If you want to hear Gary Soto talking about the exhibits in the museum, call (559) 650-0664.
There are nine 'stops' on this audio tour.