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A Sotto-Voce Proposal in the Library's Rose Main Reading Room

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Catherynne Valente
Catherynne Valente


Once upon what seemed to be an ordinary Wednesday in the Rose Main Room Reading, the usual tourists hushedly bustled about, marveling at the century old scene, while students and researchers busily worked away.

New York Times bestselling author, Catherynne Valente, was staring at the ceiling when her boyfriend, Heath Miller slid her a box from across the table. How peculiar. Earlier in the day, she opened a fortune cookie whose message read, “Someone will give you a box.”

 Little did she know, it was actually her soon-to-be fiance who baked the cookie and slipped the foreshadowing message inside himself. Inside the box, among dozens of old vintage matchbooks, was a note which very respectfully read:

“Shhhhhhh…We are in a very hush-quiet library-lovely reading room so kindly nod your
head for
YES or shake it for NO.
Will you marry me, beloved?” 

Well, as you may have already guessed, she nodded her head yes.

Her fiance was exceptionally respectful of The New York Public Library—he sought permission to both pop the big question and bring the matchbooks along. NYPL supported his romantic gesture so long as he didn’t disturb people working and didn’t bring along any gasoline.

The Library was one of the couple’s first dates. That day, Heath tweeted, “Sharing a life with her has been, and I trust will continue to be, living in a Fairyland of Her Everyday & Always Making and I am the luckiest of men.”

We love a happy ending! Congratulations and best of luck to Catherynne Valente and Heath Miller.

Catherynne Valente is an award-winning author of fantasy and science fiction novels, short stories, and poetry. You can find her books in the Library's catalogHeath Miller is an actor and director, you can find his audiobook narrations in the Library's catalog.

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Cat and Heath

Congrats to 2 of the most talented, charming and singular people we know. Good on you, kids! oxmomdad

Cathy and Heathcliff!

I am sure that I'm about the thousandth person to say "Congratulations Cathy and Heathcliff", but I'm happy to be 1000 + 1. Go Wuthering Heights!

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