Nova Scotians are being encouraged to read the same book and share their thoughts on the story in the second annual One Book Nova Scotia program.
Today, Sept. 10, Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister deputy minister Laura Lee Langley helped reveal this year’s selection for the provincewide reading program, at the Nova Scotia Community College Waterfront Campus in Dartmouth.
“For the second year, the One Book Nova Scotia community reading program is helping to develop a culture of reading in the province,” said Ms. Langley. “It is also introducing Nova Scotians to Canadian authors and stories with universal appeal that reflect and shape our shared sense of community and identity.”
Frances Newman, chairperson, One Book Nova Scotia steering committee and Jennifer Evans, director, Nova Scotia Provincial Library, helped Ms. Langley reveal this year’s book, Fauna by Alissa York.
Fauna takes place in Toronto where a federal wildlife officer discovers the heart and tenderness of the animal world in a modern-day city setting. Living on the fringes of urban society, co-existing with animals, humans from all walks of life share stories of loss and trauma and work to put their lives back together, taking care of each other and the city’s fauna.
Ms. York could not attend the launch, but sent a video sharing her delight at Fauna being chosen as this year’s title.
“Novel writing can be a long, lonely process, luckily your characters are there to keep you company. Once the book is finished, however, those characters leave you, bound for the wider world,” said Ms. York. “You get them back through readers, imaginative, sensitive people who care deeply about the humans and other creatures you dreamed up.
“Like all of us, the characters in Fauna are damaged. They help one another heal in a variety of ways, including through the sharing of stories. When I imagine Nova Scotians from across the province sharing in those stories with them, my heart is full.”
The book was selected by a committee based on criteria, including:
— a living Canadian author
— a conversation generating story for adults with varying literacy levels and life experiences
— be available in various formats
— not be a previous bestseller
“The goals of One Book Nova Scotia are to encourage recreational reading among adults, promote Canadian literature, and create opportunities for readers to engage in a shared experience,” said Ms. Newman.
The One Book movement began in 1998 at the Seattle Public Library. Nova Scotia’s program is organized by Libraries Nova Scotia, a group of library representatives from public, university, and community college libraries, and the Nova Scotia Provincial Library division of the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.
One Book Nova Scotia runs until Saturday, Nov. 2, with author readings to be held in October. Join in discussions on Facebook and Twitter, and visit http://1bns.ca/ to learn more about events across the province.