2019 One Book South Dakota Arrives

'Neither Wolf nor Dog' Available for Statewide Loan

Ready to start your first book club discussion of the New Year with a novel you can talk about with everyone else in South Dakota? The South Dakota Humanities Council's 2019 One Book South Dakota, "Neither Wolf nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder," has arrived at our offices and is available for loan!

Since 2003, the One Book program has encouraged people across South Dakota to read and discuss the same book through the year. You can borrow the One Book from the SDHC lending library for an application fee of just $50 and, optionally, host an SDHC scholar to facilitate your discussion. The South Dakota Humanities Council's packaged reading program "Book Club to Go" is designed for book clubs organized by individuals, libraries, museums, and other non-profit organizations.

If you'd like to join bibliophiles around the state who are reading and discussing Nerburn's book leading up to the 2019 Festival of Books Oct. 3-6 in Rapid City and Deadwood, where he'll be featured as the keynote speaker, click below to check out the One Book South Dakota for your book club and to find out more about the program.

Promoting Cultural Unity

The 2019 selection, announced in December during a special event at the South Dakota Humanities Council office in Brookings, tells the heartwarming story of three men on a mission to understand one another. Written by past South Dakota Festival of Books author Kent Nerburn, "Neither Wolf nor Dog" is told from a multicultural perspective.

"In 'Neither Wolf nor Dog' I tell the story of three men – two Native and one non-Native — as we journey through a world too often hidden and too little understood, and struggle to see the world through each others' eyes," Nerburn said. "I hope readers who share this journey will learn something of our complex and difficult intertwined histories and reflect on what it means to go forward as common children of this common land."

About Nerburn and the One Book

A two-time winner of the Minnesota Book Award, Nerburn is the author of 14 books on spiritual values and Native American themes, including "Letters to My Son," "Chief Joseph and the Flight of the Nez Perce" and, most recently, "Dancing with the Gods."

"For several years I worked on the Red Lake Ojibwe reservation helping students collect the memories of the tribal elders," Nerburn said. "This changed my life and introduced me to the native spiritual traditions that have become so central to the message in my writings."

"Neither Wolf Nor Dog" was made into a feature film in 2016. Nerburn is excited that the entire state's citizens will be reading and discussing his book.

"I am humbled to have my unique literary child, 'Neither Wolf nor Dog,' chosen as the one book South Dakota selection for 2019," Nerburn said. "A Native elder once counseled me: 'You should always teach by story, because stories lodge deep in the heart.'"

Born and raised near Minneapolis, Nerburn earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Minnesota in American Studies. He went on to study humanities and religious studies at Stanford University before earning a doctorate in religious studies and art at the University of California at Berkeley. Originally a sculptor, Nerburn became a writer to reach broader audiences with his work. After spending 25 years in northern Minnesota, Nerburn and his wife now live near Portland, Ore.

Neither Wolf nor Dog is the 2019 One Book South Dakota.

The shelves at the South Dakota Humanities Council office in Brookings are stocked with copies of the 2019 One Book South Dakota, "Neither Wolf nor Dog" by Kent Nerburn. To check out a copy for your book club, visit our One Book South Dakota page or call 605-688-6113. 

Neither Wolf nor Dog by Kent Nerburn is the 2019 One Book South Dakota.

Jointly Announced with 2019 YR One Book

Nerburn's book was announced jointly with the 2019 Young Readers One Book South Dakota, "Tatanka and Other Legends of the Lakota People," by Oglala Lakota tribal artist and author Donald F. Montileaux of Rapid City. The young readers selection is a bind-in of three works with both English and Lakota text: "Tatanka and the Lakota People: A Creation Story," "Tasunka: A Lakota Horse Legend," and "Muskrat and Skunk: A Lakota Drum Story."

The South Dakota Humanities Council, whose mission is to "celebrate literature, promote civil conversation, and tell the stories that define our state," is excited to feature two books in 2019 that encourage multicultural thinking and diversity. Nerburn and Montileaux are both past Festival of Books presenters.

"We're excited to unite readers and writers of all ages around their thought-provoking work," said Jennifer Widman, director of the Festival of Books and the One Book South Dakota program.

Montileaux's bind-in book is currently being produced by the South Dakota Historical Society Press. Watch sdhumanities.org for updates on its availability.

Kent Nerburn and Donald F. Montileaux are featured as the 2019 One Book and Young Readers One Book authors, respectively.

Learn More

Want to learn more about the South Dakota Humanities Council and One Book program? Click below to subscribe to our e-newsletter and blog today.