One Book - One Community for 2016-17

The Life We Bury by Allen EskensThe Life We Bury, a mystery novel by Allen Eskens, is the One Book-One Community selection for 2016-17, according to the organization’s executive committee.

In the book, what appears to be a simple writing assignment for a college student turns into a search for truth involving the subject of the writing assignment – a war hero who has recently spent 30 years in prison for rape and murder. The college student, in his search for the truth, weaves in and out of trouble as he encounter’s his subject’s past.

This marks the 14th year that the community has had the opportunity to come together to read a common book, hold discussions and meet the author. Eskens will visit the Alliance community on Thursday and Friday, April 6-7, 2017. His public appearance will be Thursday, April 6 at 7 p.m. at Union Avenue United Methodist Church with area high school visits scheduled the following day.

Eskens is the recipient of the Barry Award, Rosebud Award and the Silver Falchion Award for “The Life We Bury,” his debut novel, which was also named a finalist for the Edgar® Award, Thriller Award, Anthony Award and the Minnesota Book Award.

He honed his creative writing skills through the MFA program at Minnesota State University as well as classes at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival and the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Minnesota, and a Juris Doctorate from Hamline University School of Law.

“One Book One Community has been a programmatic gem for our community,” Pat Stone, director of Rodman Public Library, said. “Through our discussions prompted by themes in the book, we have a better understanding about issues that face us both as a community and as individuals.”

Stone added that the programming and discussions leading to the author’s appearance are being finalized and will begin in January.

The selected books for the past 13 years for the Alliance area have been The Color of Water by James McBride, Riding the Bus with My Sister by Rachel Simon, Real Time by Pnina Moed-Kass, Beyond the River by Ann Hagedorn, Plenty by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon, Blood Done Sign My Name by Timothy Tyson,Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson, Make the Impossible Possible by Bill Strickland, One Amazing Thing by Chitra Divakaruni, Thunder Dog by Michael Hingson, The Essay by Robin Yocum,Lisa’s Story: The Other Shoe,” by Tom Batiuk; andA Deadly Wandering,” by Matt Richtel.

“We would not have the opportunity to bring the author to Alliance if not for the resources provided by our partners, including the Friends of Rodman Public Library, University of Mount Union, The Greater Alliance Foundation and ‘The Review,’” Stone said. “Also a number of teachers in area schools have committed to teaching from the book.”

“The Life We Bury” is available at the University Bookstore at Mount Union and Rodman Public Library for $10. Several copies also will be available for checkout at Rodman Public Library and the Mount Union Library. Ebook versions are also available for downloading from OverDrive and hoopla.