In Celebration of Books
November 15, 2021
On Monday, November 15th, Gunston welcomes New York Times bestselling novelist Angeline Boulley to campus for our annual event, In Celebration of Books. Boulley released her debut groundbreaking thriller novel Firekeeper’s Daughter in March of 2021 and it quickly became a Time Magazine pick for Best YA of All Time. The author will give a school wide presentation and students will have the opportunity during their English classes to participate in a Q&A as well as a book signing.
“We look forward to welcoming Ms. Boulley to Gunston and hearing what she has to say about the writing process, the journey toward becoming a writer, and the themes within her powerful novel,” said Ms. Katelyn Larrimore ’16, who helped to organize this event.
Ms. Boulley, an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, is a storyteller who writes about her Ojibwe community in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. She is a former Director of the Office of Indian Education at the U.S. Department of Education and lives in southwest Michigan, but her home will always be on Sugar Island.
In this riveting novel, a biracial, unenrolled tribal member and the product of a scandal, Daunis Fontaine, has never quite fit in—both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. When her family is struck by tragedy, Daunis puts her dreams on hold to care for her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother’s hockey team.
After Daunis witnesses a shocking murder that thrusts her into a criminal investigation, she agrees to go undercover. But the deceptions—and deaths—keep piling up and soon the threat strikes too close to home. How far will she go to protect her community if it means tearing apart the only world she’s ever known?
At Gunston, we believe in the transformative power of language and the study of writing as craft. Our In Celebration of Books program is one way that we instill these values in our students. Each year, we invite a writer of local, regional, and national prominence to our campus. Consistent with our mission of educating “ethically and environmentally minded scholars, citizens, and leaders for our globalized society,” the program features authors from all fields and disciplines. In addition to a public reading or talk, each guest also visits the classroom, where students have the unique opportunity to interact with them in a highly-personalized environment.
For nearly three decades, In Celebration of Books has been a revered tradition at Gunston. It began in the boarding school days, where teachers would dress as their favorite authors. In time, the program evolved into a full day of workshops and readings that brought as many as twelve renowned writers to campus. Our current format is designed to provide students with consistent exposure to living writers, whose areas of expertise align with our curricular programming. Over the course of their four years at Gunston, students can expect to hear a diverse array of voices, from journalists and novelists to poets, historians, environmentalists, and other scientists.
Gunston has hosted such notable writers as the late Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Richard Ben Cramer; Nathaniel Philbrick, National Book Award winner for In the Heart of the Sea; the former poet laureate of Maryland, Michael Glaser; Tom Horton, author of numerous books about the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay region; and poet Nick Flynn, whose memoir was the basis for the film, Being Flynn, starring Robert DeNiro.