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'A light in the darkness'

Lake Oswego Reads ready for January book distribution


The city council recently received a sneak preview of upcoming Lake Oswego Reads events.

Given the recent devastation and violence in Clackamas County and in Newtown, Conn., Lake Oswego Public Library Director Bill Baars said he hopes the community reading program, based on a dark topic this year, will bring residents together. In that sense, Baars said, the book “Running the Rift” is “a light in the darkness. It lights a candle.”by: SUBMITTED - 'Running the Rift' by Naomi Benaron is the Lake Oswego Reads 2013 selection.

“What defines community?” he asked. “How do you deal with that darkness?”

“Running the Rift,” the 2013 Lake Oswego Reads selection, is by Naomi Benaron. The protagonist is a naturally gifted athlete who sprints across the hills of Rwanda and dreams of becoming his country’s first Olympic medalist in track. But he’s a Tutsi living in a world where his people are increasingly subjected to restrictions and violence.

Benaron is among scheduled Lake Oswego Reads speakers. In addition, the program, which kicks off in January with a book distribution and follows in February with a full program, will feature:

  • Carl Wilkens, the only American to stay in Rwanda during the Rwandan Genocide.
  • Lake Oswego’s Lopez Lomong, an Olympic athlete who has a book of his own called “Running for My Life: One Lost Boy’s Journey From the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games.”
  • Victoria Trabosh, of Lake Oswego, who started a foundation to help survivors of the 1994 genocide.
  • Enric Sifa, an area musician who lived through the genocide.
  • Paul Freedman, a Los Angeles filmmaker who will show the film “Do Scars Ever Fade?”
  • Three Rwandan exchange students from Lewis & Clark College.
  • A Portland photojournalist who followed two children in Rwanda.
  • A fun run through Tryon Creek park.
  • The library will give away free copies of “Running the Rift” at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 7. Most of the program events take place in February.