'One Book, One Michiana' is an annual event of the St. Joseph County Public Library, with a little over a month of related events all centered around a single book. In 2013, that book is Michael Shaara's Civil War novel The Killer Angels. Events will take place from April 1 to May 11, 2013. Elkhart County libraries are also participating.
The novel centers around the Battle of Gettysburg, which took place exactly 150 years ago, in 1863. The author, Michael Shaara, was a professor of English, creative writing and literature from New Jersey. He passed away in 1988; the novel that was later adapted into the Kevin Costner movie For Love of the Game was published after his death. Shaara's son Jeff is also a Civil War novelist, perhaps best known for his book Gods and Generals.
A small sampling of One Book, One Michiana events:
The 1993 movie based on the book, titled Gettysburg, stars Martin Sheen, Tom Berenger and Jeff Daniels. The PG-rated movie will be shown at the Niles District Library (621 E. Main St., Niles, MI) on April 1 at 6 p.m. On Wednesday, April 10, the Mishawaka-Penn-Harris public library (209 Lincoln Way East, Mishawaka) will show the film The Friendly Persuasion, about a Quaker family in Indiana during the Civil War. The film is based on the novel by the same name by Jessamyn West, an American Quaker writer originally from Vernon, Indiana. The Harris Branch of the Mishawaka library (51446 Elm Rd., Granger) will show Gettysburg at 2 p.m. on Monday, April 22.
The Indiana Historical Society will maintain two related displays at the Main Library in South Bend beginning April 1. One, titled "The Faces of Lincoln," will be on display through May 2. The other, "Faces of the Civil War," runs through April 13.
Other local institutions participating are the Snite Museum on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. Visitors to the Snite who mention One Book, One Michiana will receive a free poster of the painting Absolution Under Fire by Paul Wood. The painting depicts Notre Dame's Father Corby at the Battle of Gettysburg. The Cushwa-Leighton Library on the campus of St. Mary's College will display artifacts from the Civil War, centering on the role of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, St. Mary's students and their families.
On April 12 from 3:30 to 5 p.m., curator George Rugg of the Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections at the Hesburgh Library at Notre Dame will host a discussion and display of Civil War manuscripts, including letters, diaries and other handwritten items. Call 282-4655 for registration information.
On April 20 at the South Bend City Cemetery (214 Elm St., corner of West Colfax and Elm in South Bend), Travis Childs from the Center for History will lead a walking cemetery tour of Civil War monuments. Call 282-4630 for registration information.
On May 9, join Director Charlotte D. Pfeifer at the Indiana University South Bend (IUSB) Civil Rights Heritage Center (1040 W. Washington St., South Bend) at 6:30 for a discussion of the Civil War from the African American perspective. Registration is not required for this event, but you can call 282-4630 or 307-6135 for more information.
Other programs include a trivia night, discussions with local Civil War reenactors, genealogy discussions, family-friendly crafts and an episode of WNIT's Dinner and a Book. See the library website for more information.