Award-winning crime writer William Kent Krueger’s “Ordinary Grace” will be read and discussed by citizens across the state as the 2015 One Book South Dakota.
Since 2003, the South Dakota Humanities Council’s One Book South Dakota program has encouraged South Dakotans to read and discuss the same novel or memoir throughout the course of a year. Krueger will speak about his book during a tour of South Dakota communities this summer and at the 2015 South Dakota Festival of Books Sept. 24-27, 2015 in Deadwood and Rapid City.
In 2013, “Ordinary Grace” received the Edgar Award, given by the Mystery Writers of America in recognition for the best novel published in that year. The New York Times bestseller also received the Barry Award, Anthony Award and Macavity Award for Best Novel.
In the novel, published by Simon and Schuster and set in southern Minnesota, Krueger explores the issue of spirituality and his own childhood, writing about issues that he’s grappled with since a young age. The book is a brilliantly moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God.
“I really appreciate the door that ‘Ordinary Grace’ has opened for me. It’s probably my favorite book that I’ve written; it’s very unique,” Krueger said.
Krueger has presented at the South Dakota Festival of Books twice. The South Dakota Humanities Council is pleased to welcome him back to the annual event.
“Kent has been a tremendous asset to our event in the past, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him return as the 2015 One Book author,” said Festival of Books director Jennifer Widman. “He is a truly remarkable talent whose mystery novels are widely read.”
Raised in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, Krueger briefly attended Stanford University. After that, he logged timber, worked construction, tried his hand at freelance journalism, and eventually ended up researching child development at the University of Minnesota. He currently makes his living as a full-time author. He’s been married for more than 40 years and lives in St. Paul, Minn. He moved to the city at the age of 30 so his wife could attend law school.
“The minute I set foot in Minnesota, I knew I was home,” he said.
Krueger’s love and appreciation for the beautiful North Country in the state of Minnesota has so far inspired 14 books, including the award-winning Corcoran O’Connor series. “Ordinary Grace” is a standalone novel that Publishers Weekly called “…elegiac, evocative… a resonant tale of fury, guilt and redemption.” Dennis Lehane, author of “Mystic River,” “Shutter Island” and “The Given Day,” said he “loved” Ordinary Grace, calling it “pitch-perfect.”
Krueger will discuss “Ordinary Grace” in several communities this summer as part of his One Book Author Tour (details to be announced).
South Dakota Humanities Council uses its One Book Program to engage audiences from the smallest towns, biggest cities and reservations in the state. Community and book groups receive the One Book on loan and can invite a South Dakota Humanities Council scholar to facilitate discussion.
About the Author
Raised in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, William Kent Krueger briefly attended Stanford University—before being kicked out for radical activities. After that, he logged timber, worked construction, tried his hand at freelance journalism, and eventually ended up researching child development at the University of Minnesota.
He currently makes his living as a full-time author. He’s been married for over 40 years to a marvelous woman who is an attorney. He makes his home in St. Paul, a city he dearly loves.
Krueger writes a mystery series set in the north woods of Minnesota. His protagonist is Cork O’Connor, the former sheriff of Tamarack County and a man of mixed heritage—part Irish and part Ojibwe. His work has received a number of awards, including the Minnesota Book Award, the Loft-McKnight Fiction Award, the Anthony Award, the Barry Award, the Dilys Award, and the Friends of American Writers Prize. His last five novels were all New York Times bestsellers.
Ordinary Grace, his stand-alone novel published in 2013, received the Edgar Award, given by the Mystery Writers of America in recognition for the best novel published in that year. Windigo Island, number fourteen in his Cork O’Connor series, was released in August 2014.