One Community, One Book
One Community, One Book 2013
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer has been selected as teh 2013 book choice for One Community, One Book. Read the announcement of this year's book choice at Iowa Now. This book tells Kamkwamba’s inspiring story of human inventiveness and its power to overcome crippling adversity. Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a land withered by drought and hunger, where hope and opportunity were hard to find. He had read about windmills and dreamed of building one that would bring electricity and water to his village, thus changing his life and the lives of those around him.
Additional details about the events and work with the Iowa City Community School District on this year's project will be added as information becomes available.
One Community, One Book 2012
The Latehomecomer: a Hmong Family Memoir by Kao Kalia Yang is the 2012 choice for One Community, One Book.
From the bookcover: “In search of a place to call home, thousands of Hmong families made the journey from the war-torn jungles of Laos to the overcrowded refugee camps of Thailand and onward to America, but their history remains largely unknown….Yang describes her family’s harrowing escape from Laos, their life in the refugee camps, the hardships and great job of caring for a growing family in a new land and her own experiences with American life and learning.”
An important theme in this book is that of the forced migration of the Hmong people after the Vietnam War. Iowa has seen the arrival of many immigrants and political refugees in recent years, most notably from Bosnia, Sudan, Mexico and Central America. Kalia Yang tells a story of migration for a family who no longer had a homeland and describes their assimilation process when they moved to St. Paul. Kalia was born in a refugee camp in Thailand and Minnesota became her first true home. She is a graduate of Carleton College and went on to earn a master’s degree in Creative Non-Fiction Writing from Columbia University. She is the co-founder of Words Wanted, an agency dedicated to helping immigrants with writing, translating, and business services. She has also released a documentary film, The Place Where We Were Born, which describes the experiences of Hmong American refugees.
We gratefully acknowledge our sponsors for this year's One Community, One Book: UI International Programs, UI Bookstore, Coralville Public Library, Iowa City Public Library, Iowa City Human Rights Commission, UI Department of History, UI Department of English, UI Department of Political Science, UI School of Library and Information Science and the University of Iowa Community Credit Union.
History of One Community, One Book
Launched in 2001 by UICHR founders Dorothy Paul and Burns Weston, One Community, One Book is an annual community-wide reading project coordinated by the UICHR. The project invites community residents to discuss the same human rights-related text.
The co-coordinators of One Community, One Book are Joan Nashelsky and Pat Schnack. Please contact them with any questions or to nominate rights-related texts you feel would benefit our reading community. Although the 2012 selection has been made, suggestions and nominations are always welcome.
The Latehomecomer: a Hmong Family Memoir by Kao Kalia Yang
Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
Gardens of Water by Alan Drew
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year in Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver, with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver
A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
Blood Done Sign My Name by Timothy B. Tyson
The Tortilla Curtain by T. Coraghessan Boyle
When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
First they Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung
The Last Summer of Reason by Tahar Djaout