Once upon a cold and luminous Saturday morning, in an urban hamlet of tenements, factories, and trolley cars on the western slopes of the borough of Brooklyn, a boy named Michael Devlin woke in the dark.
So begins Pete Hamill’s 1997 novel, Snow in August, the “One Book” chosen for Eastern Connecticut residents to read during the spring, summer, and fall of 2002. This program, sponsored by libraries, schools, literacy agencies, community groups, and readers, is similar to other “one book” reading projects that encourage the entire community to read the same book.
A national forerunner in the implementation of a One Book program, the idea took root in Eastern Connecticut when Steven Slosberg wrote a column for The Day on November 18, 2001 entitled “What the Area Needs is One Good Read.” The initiative was recognized by The New York Times in Alan Bisbort’s March 31, 2002 article, “Everyone on the Same Page.” On February 19, 2002, the One Book. One Region. Eastern Connecticut. Selection Committee very quickly came to enthusiastic agreement on Snow in August.
Hamill’s book, described by Robert Lipsyte in the New York Times Book Review as “gritty, sentimental and ultimately as optimistic as its creator,” was on the NYT bestseller list for four months and has been published in more than a dozen foreign editions. Hamill lives in New York City, where he writes a weekly column for the New York Daily News.