A New York Times best-selling author is coming to Northwestern’s campus. On Nov. 3, William Kent Kruger will be speaking in the DeWitt Learning Commons, and then again later on in Christ Chapel. Krueger is most known for his Cork O’Connor mystery series, but many students on campus, especially freshmen, know him as the author of the First Year Seminar (FYS) required reading book called Ordinary Grace.
Krueger’s work has received many awards, including the Minnesota Book Award, the Loft-McKnight Fiction Award, the Anthony Award, the Barry Award, the Dilys Award and the Friends of American Writers Prize. Also, his last five novels were all New York Times best-sellers.
Librarian Greta Grond says that she has worked here at NW for more than eight years, and she cannot think of another time that a New York Times best-selling author has come to campus. She is very excited for the event, and thinks it is a great opportunity for the students.
“I think it’s a pretty big deal,” Grond said. “I’ve heard he’s [Krueger] a very personal and outgoing guy and a great speaker.”
On Thursday, Nov. 3, Krueger is coming to speak specifically about Ordinary Grace. The two-part event will start with “Appetizers with the Author” at 5:30 p.m. in the library, and tickets for that part will be sold for 10 dollars. The second part is called “A Conversation with William Kent Krueger,” and that will be at 7:00 p.m. in the chapel. This part is free and open to the public.
Freshman Corrie Hayes read his book “Ordinary Grace”, and she said she really liked it. She also said she plans on going to the event.
“I’m excited to hear him [Krueger] speak,” Hayes said. “His writing was really well-written, so I know his speech will be as well, and I’m excited to hear his thoughts about life.”
Freshman Maverick Risley also read the book, and he thinks it will be interesting to hear what Krueger will say. Risley complimented Krueger’s writing style as well as the plot of his book “Ordinary Grace.”
“He [Krueger] goes really in depth with his characters and settings and situations, and that gets you emotionally invested into said characters and said family, which makes you want to root for them to figure everything out and get to the bottom of things,” Risley said.
“I really liked his book and I could tell from his writing that he knows how to portray his message to his audience,” Hayes said. “What he said and the way he said it was really beautiful and eloquent.”
For the first time in Sioux County, according to Grond, all academic libraries and public libraries in the area have worked together to make an event with a number of libraries happen.
Krueger’s visit is the culmination of the 11 libraries’ “One Book, One County” project, a program in which one book is read and shared across the county, and the various libraries come together at the end to discuss their reactions to the book.
Grond, Hayes and Risley all recommend students go to the event, even those who may not have read the book.
“I think it’s a good sign of welcoming and hospitality to him, and it’s a great opportunity to hear a great author relate to his readers,” Grond said.
“I understand that what he [Krueger] wrote about doesn’t interest everybody,” Risley said. “However, if you are on the fence about going or not, I would say go because it might broaden your horizons or make you see something in a different light that you didn’t originally think could be seen from that perspective.”
Krueger will be on NW’s campus Thursday, Nov. 3. Krueger will speak in the DeWitt Library at 5:30 p.m. for a time of appetizers and conversation as well as Christ Chapel later that night at 7 p.m. Tickets will be sold for $10 for the library event, and the event in the chapel will be free and open to the public.
While in Sioux County, Krueger will be making additional presentations at Northwest Iowa Community College and Dordt College on Nov. 4.