May 7, 2020 – This morning the One Book, One Community committee announced that the 2020 book selection is Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice.
In Moon of the Crusted Snow, winter is looming when a small northern Anishinaabe community suddenly goes dark. With communication and power cut off, panic soon begins to build, especially as food supplies dwindle. The band council and a small number of community members struggle to maintain order when an unexpected visitor arrives, escaping the crumbling society to the south.
Tensions rise and so does the death toll. Frustrated by the building chaos, a group of young friends and their families turn to the land and Anishinaabe tradition in hopes of helping their community thrive again.
Waubgeshig Rice is an author and journalist originally from Wasauksing First Nation. His first short story collection, Midnight Sweatlodge, was inspired by his experiences growing up in an Anishinaabe community, and won an Independent Publishers Book Award in 2012. His debut novel Legacy was published in 2014, with Moon of the Crusted Snow following in October 2018.
Rice got his first taste of journalism in 1996 as an exchange student in Germany, writing articles for Canadian newspapers about being an Anishinaabe teen in a foreign country. After graduating from Ryerson University’s journalism program in 2002, he has worked in a variety of news media since, including hosting Up North, CBC Radio’s afternoon show for northern Ontario.
One Book, One Community, now in its 19th year, is the longest running community reading program in Canada. “OBOC”, as it is fondly referred to, celebrates books and writings of Canadian authors. Through the shared experience of reading and discussing the same book, OBOC has helped create a special sense of community in the Region.
“Our committee selected Moon of the Crusted Snow as our 2020 OBOC title many months before elements of the novel became less dystopic and more comparable to our experience. We loved how we were drawn into the novel from the first page. The characters are engrossing, the sense of community is inspiring, and the novel is simply one that you cannot put down until you know how the story ends.” says Laura Peacock, Chair of One Book, One Community. “We hope that the way Mr. Rice’s engrossing novel reflects a world where a community is stronger and more capable of facing challenges when they come together, offers readers hope during a time of uncertainty.”
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Photo Credit: Rey Martin