In partnership, the Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo public libraries, Concordia College’s Carl B. Ylvisaker Library, Minnesota State University Moorhead’s Livingston Lord Library, North Dakota State University Libraries, Moorhead Area Public Schools Indian Education, the Indigenous Association, and the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County have selected Louise Erdrich’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Night Watchman” as the 2022 One Book, One Community selection.
Set near the Turtle Mountain Reservation in rural North Dakota in the 1950s, “The Night Watchman” includes universal themes of community, family, love and freedom. The novel is based on Erdrich’s grandfather, Patrick Gourneau, who worked as a night watchman and carried the fight against Native dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Washington, D.C. It tells the little-known story of the U.S. government’s efforts in the 1950s to “emancipate” the Turtle Mountain band and other tribes and end federal recognition of these tribes in order to force them off their ancestral land.
A leader in contemporary Native American literature, Louise Erdrich is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. She has won numerous awards for both poetry and fiction, including the National Book Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and, twice, the National Book Critics Circle fiction award. She was a Pulitzer finalist in 2009 for “The Plague of Doves.”
This year’s One Book, One Community reading project launches in September and features several events including community book discussions, cultural presentations, exhibits, films and other programs. The event series includes an author visit Oct. 27 at the Knutson Campus Center Centrum on the campus of Concordia College. Further details about the author visit will be announced at a later date.
Copies of the book will be available for checkout in several formats at each of the participating libraries; book club kits will also available. For a list of related events and resources, visit any participating library’s website starting Aug. 15 or visit http://www.1book1community.org after Aug. 15.
In its 11th year, the One Book, One Community reading project centers on the community-wide reading of a single book and is dedicated to creating a shared conversation along with a range of related events and activities for residents of all ages.
All One Book, One Community events are free and open to the public. This project is made possible in part with funding from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and supported by Concordia Cultural Events, Friends of the Fargo Public Library, Friends of the West Fargo Public Library, Friends of the Moorhead Library and Moorhead Community Education.