Our sincere thanks to all of you who read or listened to “The Ruins of Us” by Keija Parssinen and joined us for one of this year’s outstanding One Read events. What an exceptional year and a great opportunity to celebrate our local writing community. We capped off the month with Parssinen delivering her keynote address in both Columbia and Fulton. She generously shared details of her own development as a writer, her dedication to writing in service to complex characters and as a process of exploring and answering difficult questions.
Parssinen said, “It is my belief that the only way to combat ignorance is to talk to one another, to have a conversation. In this way, the One Read program is exceptionally important. It gives us as a community the time and space to engage in civil dialogue with our neighbors.”
Our sincere thanks to you for being a part of the important dialogue sparked by “The Ruins of Us.”
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One Read programming begins this week, and our friends at the Tribune have published some insightful pieces about Keija Parssinen’s book “The Ruins of Us” in advance of the discussions, films, art exhibits and other events happening this September.
The Tribune’s Amy Wilder writes eloquently about the deep sense of place and emotional intensity of “The Ruins of Us.” She describes Parssinen’s roots in Saudi Arabia and how her outsider’s perspective lends a certain insight into that country’s culture. Read Wilder’s piece, Years Spent Abroad Shaped One Read Author’s Perspective.
Wilder also recently interviewed Keija Parssinen about both One Read and her forthcoming novel set in Southeast Texas. Read parts one and two of this interview on the Tribune’s Art Axis blog.
Finally, for the second year the Tribune is hosting One Read’s online book club. Each Monday we summarize two or three chapters and offer questions for discussion. You are invited to join the conversation and contribute your comments!
Spend an evening with One Read author Keija Parssinen!
Thursday, September 19 › 7 p.m.
Columbia, Columbia College, Launer Auditorium
Thursday, September 26 › 7 p.m.
Fulton, William Woods University Library Auditorium
One Read author Keija Parssinen steps up to the podium to talk about growing up in Saudi Arabia and how it inspired her to write her debut novel, “The Ruins of Us.” She’ll also speak to writing as a craft and answer your questions.
Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing following each of these talks.
Browse our full listing of One Read events in our online program guide, and join us in September for book discussions, films, presentations, radio programs, art and more. And don’t forget to sign up to let us know you are reading this year’s selection.