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Lebanon Valley College Participates in “One Book, One Community” Reading of “The Cellist of Sarajevo”
08.27.13 |
Representatives from libraries in Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon, Lancaster, Perry and York Counties recently announced the selection of “The Cellist of Sarajevo” by Steven Galloway as this year’s One Book, One Community selection. Reading campaign organizers encourage residents of the seven-county region to read the book during September and October and to attend free programs and discussions to learn more about this captivating novel. This is LVC’s first year to participate in the community reading campaign.

One Book, One Community is intended to promote the value of reading by recommending a compelling book that links the community in a common conversation. Several communities across the country have initiated “One Book” efforts, but One Book, One Community is the largest such effort in Pennsylvania with 93 participating libraries.

“Bishop Library has become involved in the One Book, One Community (OBOC) campaign in an effort to enhance dialogue and appreciation of literature outside the classroom,” said Maureen Bentz, access services librarian. “The OBOC program was a perfect fit because it ties LVC to conversations happening at both academic and community libraries regionally. The possibility that faculty, staff and students can potentially discuss this book across disciplines, departments and with others in the local community offers great potential for a unique and broad exchange of ideas.”

The fall campaign encourages adult readers to read “The Cellist of Sarajevo” during September and October. Bishop library has 10 copies of this book and one audio book on display across from the Circulation Desk – right next to the Cello! In addition, readers wishing to purchase a personal copy of the book should visit the College Store.

To encourage campus dialogue on the book, the library has two major events planned:

Lunch and Book Discussion - Thursday, Oct. 17,  11 a.m. - Frock Conference Room

Join the campus conversation about this regional read at Bishop Library and enjoy a free pizza lunch. Students should register on Redbook or email

Cello Concert - Thursday, Oct. 24, 7:30 p.m. - Bishop Library

Dr. Marie-Aline Cadieux will perform selected pieces to compliment the OBOC read. Dr. Cadieux is a Professor of Music at Kutztown University and Adjunct Professor of Music at Lebanon Valley College.

“The annual One Book, One Community campaign strengthens our communities by bringing our region together around a single title. Libraries and community partners lead activities and book discussions, and the web site provides interaction and exploration,” said Carolyn Blatchley, Librarian for Cumberland County Library System and coordinator of this year’s One Book Campaign.

About the Book

“The Cellist of Sarajevo” is a spare and haunting, wise and beautiful novel about war and the endurance of the human spirit and the subtle ways individuals reclaim their humanity.

In a city under siege, four people whose lives have been upended are ultimately reminded of what it is to be human. From his window, a musician sees twenty-two of his friends and neighbors waiting in a breadline. Then, in a flash, they are killed by a mortar attack. In an act of defiance, the man picks up his cello and decides to play at the site of the shelling for twenty-two days, honoring their memory. Elsewhere, a young man leaves home to collect drinking water for his family and, in the face of danger, must weigh the value of generosity against selfish survivalism. A third man, older, sets off in search of bread and distraction and instead runs into a long-ago friend who reminds him of the city he thought he had lost, and the man he once was. As both men are drawn into the orbit of cello music, a fourth character—a young woman, a sniper—holds the fate of the cellist in her hands. As she protects him with her life, her own army prepares to challenge the kind of person she has become.

About the Author

Steven Galloway, a Canadian author, was born in Vancouver and raised in Kamloops, both in British Columbia. He attended the University College of the Cariboo and the University of British Columbia. His debut novel, "Finnie Walsh" (2000), was nominated for the in Canada First Novel Award. His second novel, "Ascension" (2003), was nominated for the BC Book Prizes' Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and has been translated into numerous languages.

His third novel, "The Cellist of Sarajevo" (2008), was heralded as "the work of an expert" by the Guardian, and has become an international bestseller and sold in 20 countries. Galloway has taught creative writing at the University of British Columbia and taught and mentored creative writing in The Writer's Studio, at the writing and publishing program at Simon Fraser University. His work has been published in over thirty countries and optioned for film. Galloway teaches Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia and lives in Vancouver, Canada.

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