INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Humanities is seeking organizations across the state to host a Community Read of Jean Thompson’s “The Year We Left Home.”

The New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist is the 2020 selection for the One State/One Story statewide read presented by Indiana Humanities in partnership with the Indiana Center for the Book and the Indiana State Library.

Organizations interested in becoming a Community Read host should review the online program guide and apply by Nov. 8 at

“We’re excited to build on the monstrous success of our One State/One Story statewide read of Frankenstein in 2018 when more than 110 Indiana communities across 57 counties hosted programs directly impacting at least 52,793 Hoosiers,” said Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities.

Steuben County hosted a well-developed Frankenfest last October.

Selected hosts for this year’s Community Read will receive $750, copies of the book and swag for designing and implementing a series of three or more programs about Thompson’s novel, which explores urban and rural themes and raises conversations about our relationships to home.

These are all key ideas of Indiana Humanities’ INseparable initiative, which encourages Hoosiers to explore how they relate to each other across urban, suburban and rural boundaries.

“Our new book selection promises the opportunity for communities across the state to have more rich and meaningful conversations,” Amstutz said, “and examine the larger questions ‘The Year We Left Home’ raises about the Midwest today and the enduring, uniting power of place.”

Beginning in Iowa in 1973, the book follows the Erickson family through the many changes affecting American life at the end of the 20th century. From city rooftops to country farms, college campuses to small-town main streets, the characters in Thompson’s novel search for fulfillment and happiness in an ever-changing, often alienating country. The story asks readers to consider why we choose or are forced to leave home and when we decide to return.

In addition to Community Read grants, Indiana Humanities will be hosting an in-depth weekend retreat for fans of the novel during the spring of 2020 and a tour with author Jean Thompson during the fall of 2020.

Visit to sign up for Indiana Humanities monthly e-newsletter for updates on all the upcoming One State/One Story programming.

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