Saturday, December 2, 2023

‘One Book One Community’ Initiative Returns for Fourth Year

Micheline Aharonian Marcom is the author of The New American, the book selection for One Book One Community 2023 (Photo provided by Williamsburg Regional Library)

WILLIAMSBURG — Williamsburg Regional Library (WRL) and William & Mary Libraries are partnering for a fourth year for One Book One Community, an initiative that encourages the community to engage in a shared reading experience related to a socially relevant book.

The 2023 book selection is “The New American” by Micheline Aharonian Marcom.  

One Book One Community events throughout February will include book discussions, movie screenings, lectures, and other activities and events related to the book’s theme, culminating in a visit from Marcom on Feb. 21. 

“’The New American’ is a compelling story that provides an in-depth look at immigration in the United States, a topic certain to spark thoughtful discussions about issues that affect our community,” said Williamsburg Regional Library Director Betsy Fowler. “We’re thrilled to partner with William & Mary Libraries for another year of engaging One Book One Community programming.” 

Marcom, who has published seven novels, was born in Saudi Arabia and raised in Los Angeles, according to a WRL press release. She has received fellowships and awards from the Lannan Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, and the US Artists’ Foundation. Her first novel, “Three Apples Fell From Heaven,” was a New York Times Notable Book and Runner-Up for the PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction, and her second, “The Daydreaming Boy,” won the PEN/USA Award for Fiction. In 2008, Marcom taught in Beirut, Lebanon, on a Fulbright Fellowship.

Marcom splits her time between California and Virginia, where she is a Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Virginia. She is the founder and Creative Director of The New American Story Project [NASP], a digital oral history project focused on unaccompanied Central American minors who journeyed to the US. 

“Micheline Aharonian Marcom’s extensive first-person research on the forces of migration that draw people to America brings “The New American” to life on the page,” said Carrie Cooper, dean of university libraries at William & Mary. “We are honored to welcome her in February to offer the community more insight into the complex issues surrounding immigration.” 

The event series begins Feb. 1 with a discussion on the current state of immigration law with Stacy Kern Scheerer, Director of the William & Mary Law School’s Immigration Clinic. Other notable events in the series include a quiz program on the U.S. Citizenship Test, and a Readers Theater featuring local actors voicing the first-person views of people around the world about immigration and citizenship. 

Marcom will give the keynote presentation at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 21 in the Williamsburg Library Theatre. 

One Book One Community programs: 

  • Stacy Kern-Scheerer Lecture: Feb. 1, 6:30 p.m. — Williamsburg Library & online 
  • Book Discussion: Feb. 2, 10:30 a.m. — James City County Library & online 
  • Art House Café Film – “La Misma Lune”Feb. 7, 2 p.m. — Williamsburg Library 
  • Book Discussion: Feb. 8, 10 a.m. — Williamsburg Library & online 
  • Monika Gosin Discussion: Feb. 8, 6:30 p.m. — Williamsburg Library 
  • Pub Quiz: Feb. 9, 6 p.m. –—James City County Library & online 
  • Documentary – “Waking Dream”Feb. 11, 10:30 a.m. — Williamsburg Library 
  • Book Discussion: Feb. 11, 2 p.m.— James City County Library & online 
  • Book Discussion: Feb. 13, 6:45 p.m.— Williamsburg Library & online 
  • Readers Theater: Feb. 16, 6:30 p.m. — Williamsburg Library 
  • Cinema @ Scotland Street – “Queen of Glory”Feb. 20, 6 p.m. — Williamsburg Library 
  • Micheline Aharonian Marcom author visit: Feb. 21, 6:30 p.m. — Williamsburg Library & online 
  • Finding Immigration and Naturalization Records Online: Feb. 23, 2 p.m. — Stryker Center 

For more information about One Book One Community programs, visit

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