2023 - The Seed Keeper
The Lake Oswego Public Library has selected Diane Wilson’s novel The Seed Keeper for its award-winning citywide reading program, at the recommendation of the Lake Oswego Reads Steering Committee.
Director of the Lake Oswego Public Library, Melissa Kelly, shares,“The Seed Keeper is a novel of strength, perseverance, wisdom and hope. I was swept away by the story of Rosalie, a Dakhóta woman navigating a personal and family history of loss and hardship, who finds solace and strength in her relationship with nature and the life-giving seeds that the women of her family have nurtured across generations. There is so much to unearth in this multi-generational story of Rosalie and her family. In our 17th year of the Lake Oswego Reads program, we are thrilled to invite the community to experience this novel and discuss the themes of the book throughout the month of April.”
“Through the voices of women from past and present, Wilson deepens our understanding of what loss of language and culture has done to Indigenous people. This multi-generational story is about legacies and the inescapable call of one's roots with characters facing harsh realities. But it is also a compelling tale of people who are heartfelt and hopeful, carrying a steadfast belief in the strength of family, will, and growth,” adds Andrew Edwards, Executive Director of Lakewood Center for the Arts, a longtime committee member and supporter of Lake Oswego Reads.
Lake Oswego resident Agnes Hoffman notes: “I was lost in this soulful and touching story. It’s an uncomfortable read but one that must be read. This tale of our nation’s westward progress spelled disaster for the Native Peoples and the lands that got in the way. Rich in nature, lore and wonder, the story weaves the cultural past with present realities of foster care and prejudices. The author casts these against broader effects of corporate farming. There is so much to savor and ponder. Loved it!”
Steering Committee member Cherie Dupuis added, “This book opened my heart to the power of seeds, to the Native way of reclaiming a relationship with the earth, and to the women with “souls of iron” (ancestors) who provided stories, food, and life to keep a culture alive. I look forward to a month of programs that deepen our love of LO, its beauty and its history.”
The 2022-23 Steering Committee for Lake Oswego Reads is composed of librarians, community leaders, high school English teachers, retired professors, and high school students. Books were suggested for this volunteer committee to read and consider. For a listing of proposed books, go to www.ci.oswego.or.us/loreads/books-considered-2023.
The official kickoff of Lake Oswego Reads will be on Saturday, February 25, 2023. Thanks to a grant from the Friends of the Lake Oswego Library, 800 free books will be distributed to Lake Oswego Public Library card holders. As in recent years, the book giveaway will be held as a drive-through in the library parking lot beginning at 11:00 am. The street address is 706 Fourth Street in Lake Oswego.
The Lake Oswego Reads Events committee is developing April’s schedule of free programs that includes speakers, craft classes, demonstrations, museum tours, music, art and more. Additionally, thanks to the Friends of Lake Oswego Library, Diane Wilson will visit Lake Oswego in person and speak at Lakeridge High School on Tuesday, April 25 at 7:00 pm and will be joined in conversation with author Robin Wall Kimmerer. Tickets will be available in early March. See the Lake Oswego Library website for details on this event and all the April events as they are added to this exciting month of reading.
LAKE OSWEGO PUBLIC LIBRARY
The Lake Oswego Public Library has been recognized by national organizations such as the U.S. Conference of Mayors for this immersive program that encourages all members of the community to read the same book, discuss its message, and celebrate an atmosphere of learning among all age groups. This will be the program’s 17th year and all events will be free thanks to financial support from the Friends of the Lake Oswego Public Library, Lake Oswego Rotary Club, and the Lake Oswego Review.
About the Author
Diane Wilson (Dakhóta) is a writer, speaker, and educator, who has published two award-winning books, a middle-grade biography, as well as essays in numerous publications. Her new novel, The Seed Keeper, was released by Milkweed Editions in March, 2021.
Wilson has received a 2013 Bush Foundation Fellowship as well as awards from Minnesota State Arts Board, the Jerome Foundation, and the East Central Regional Arts Council. In 2018, she was awarded a 50 Over 50 Award from Pollen/Midwest.
She is the former Executive Director for the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance, a national coalition of tribes and organizations working to create sovereign food systems for Native people. A Mdewakanton descendent, Ms. Wilson is enrolled on the Rosebud Reservation.
Diane Wilson is the winner of the Minnesota Book Award, 50 over 50 Award from Pollen/Midwest, Barbara Studler Award from History Colorado, and the selection for One Minneapolis One Read.