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'One Book One Town' showcases hostage's account of survival: 'A House in the Sky'

It won't be an easy read, and the content isn't suitable for young children, but Fairfield Public Library officials are excited about the book chosen for the 2014 "One Book One Town" community reading project -- "A House in the Sky."

A memoir written by reporter Amanda Lindhout with Sara Corbett, the book traces Lindhout's abduction by Somalis in 2008.

Nicole Scherer, teen librarian, said the book tells the story of Lindhout's survival in the "face of unspeakable conditions" during 15 months in captivity.

"This book is very different in tone and content," Library Director Karen Ronald said at Thursday's announcement of the book's selection. "It's not necessarily for children and it deals with very difficult subject matters."

This is the seventh year for the "One Book One Town" program, and as in the past, the signature event of the month-long slate of related activities is the authors' visit by Lindhout and Corbett on March 26 at Fairfield University. In the weeks leading up to the authors' visit, there will be book discussions, lectures and, for the fourth time, a writing contest.

The deadline for unpublished work on the topic of survival is Feb. 13, and winners will be invited to read their works at the Writers' Read-Around on March 20. They will also be invited to a reception for Linhout and Corbett as well as receive an autographed copy of "A House in the Sky."

Residents with private book clubs that plan to read "A House in the Sky" can contact Ronald to "borrow" a librarian to facilitate their discussion of the book.

Other events include a talk by Mark Schenker, senior associate dean of Yale College and dean of academic affairs, on March 1, and a session March 13 on embedded journalism by James Simon, a Fairfield University English professor.

Copies of the book are available at both the main and branch libraries, the Pequot Library, and the Fairfield University Bookstore.

For more information about "One Book One Town" events and to register for activities planned in conjunction with the program, visit www.fairfieldpubliclibrary.org

Genevieve Reilly

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