One Book SD Announced


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The South Dakota Humanities Council’s 2015 One Book South Dakota has been selected.

Award-winning Minnesota crime writer William Kent Krueger will be featured as the 2015 One Book South Dakota author. His novel Ordinary Grace will be read and discussed by citizens across the state and featured 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. It also received the Barry Award, Anthony Award, and Macavity Award for Best Novel and is a New York Times bestseller.

‘My Favorite Book’

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 three times. His favorite of these was when he presented in Deadwood with the Minnesota Crime Wave which also included mystery writers Carl Brookins and Ellen Hart.

“We presented in costume and were very well received by the crowd,” he said.

Krueger’s Return to the Festival

The South Dakota Humanities Council is pleased to welcome Krueger back to the Festival of Books.

“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—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 felt as though he never truly had a “home” until he moved to St. Paul at the age of 30 so that 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.”

Since 2003, the One Book South Dakota program has encouraged everyone across South Dakota to read and discuss the same novel or memoir throughout the course of a year. Community and book groups receive books on loan and can invite a scholar from the SDHC list to facilitate their discussion. For updates on Krueger and other Festival authors, keep an eye on Festival Fodder and look for the hashtag #sdbookfest on social media sites.

Krueger will tour South Dakota and discuss Ordinary Grace in several communities this summer (tour details to be announced).

Did you see Kent at a previous South Dakota Festival of Books event? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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