One Book, One Community author to speak on campus

Emily Pagel

Northern Michigan University community and Marquette County’s program One Book, One Community will bring author Karen Thompson Walker to speak about her book “The Age of Miracles.”

Two events will be held by Walker on Monday, Oct. 28: a question-and-answer session and an author presentation.

The question-and-answer session will be at 2 p.m. in Jamrich 102 and the author presentation will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Great Lakes Rooms of the University Center.

Both events are free and open to the public.

Walker’s novel was selected as the One Book, One Community novel for 2013.  The program, which started in 2006, has had huge success across campus and the Marquette community said Dana Shultz, co-chair of the committee and chair of selection committee for “One Book, One Community.”

“We’ve had several book clubs come through the store [Snowbound Books] and pick it up as their monthly read,” Shultz said.  “At first they were unsure about it because of the sci-fi aspect but people have been really positive about it and surprised by their discussions and how much they’ve learned from the book.”

According to Shultz the novels are chosen annually through a selection committee.

“We all bring books to the table and kind of narrow it down from a long list of seven to eight books,” Shultz said. “Everyone in the selection committee reads all of those books and then we narrow it down to two, where we then present them to the whole committee and vote on one.

“By far this has been the most popular book chosen as far as students participation goes.”

“We don’t give our authors any directions. We just tell them to come talk about their book and writing process,” Shultz said. “I know she’s really excited that we chose her book and she’s really honored. I think she’ll be really dynamic in her presentations.”

Teaching Assistant Jerrole Hosler had “The Age of Miracles” as part of the curriculum in his EN 111 course and said there’s been a large positive response to the novel.

“Students have appreciated the ability to connect with the reading,” Hosler said. “How this would be applicable in their lives and the style of writing has also been really engaging.”

“I think that possibility of meeting an author of a novel and asking them all the questions you had when reading the book like ‘what did you mean when you wrote this?’ or ‘what was your writing process?’ is good. It’s something students don’t get that very often.”

Alex Gubbins, co-chair of One Book, One Community said events like these are important for students to get involved in along with the required course work.

“They get first hand experience to meet a creator of something they’ve just invested their time and effort into.”

Gubbins also said that the presentations should be inspirational for students in all majors.

“Karen Thompson Walker is a very young author and to see a very successful young author here at NMU, I hope would encourage students to consider english as an important part of life.”

Students interested in One Book, One Community or want more information on the events can email questions to [email protected]