Published: April 27, 2017

City of East Lansing, MSU announce 2017 One Book, One Community selection

Contact(s): Janet Lillie Office of Government Affairs office: (517) 353-9001

The City of East Lansing and Michigan State University announce the book selection for the 2017 One Book, One Community program: “A Long Way Home” by Saroo Brierley with Larry Buttrose.

“A Long Way Home” is a No. 1 international bestseller based on the true story of author Saroo Brierley’s incredible journey from India to Australia and back again. After becoming separated from his brother, five-year-old Saroo boards a train in rural India in his desperate and frightened search to find his family. Saroo falls asleep and awakens to find himself traveling across the countryside thousands of miles away from everything he has ever known. He ends up on the notoriously rough streets of Calcutta, where a different language is spoken and homeless children are invisible to most. Unable to understand Saroo’s pronunciation of his hometown, authorities eventually declare him a lost child and he is adopted to a couple, Sue and John Brierley, in Australia. Raised in their loving home, Saroo’s past slides away, but is never truly forgotten. As he grows into adulthood, he feels he is a person of two worlds - one of which is lost to him. Where did he come from and what about the family he left behind? Saroo turns to modern technology to search for his birth family and home. Following train lines in India on Google Earth maps and using bits of fragmented memory, Saroo eventually finds the place he came from and returns to India, where he is reunited with his birth mother and other members of his long lost family.

Saroo’s story is one of determination, the unfailing love of family and the universal need to know our origins. His story became a media sensation and led to his book, “A Long Way Home,” and the Oscar-nominated film, “Lion,” starring Dev Patel, Sunny Pawar, Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara.

“The selection of ‘A Long Way Home,’ coupled with this year’s theme, 'Lost & Found: A Journey of Self Discovery,' furthers the OBOC program’s goal of bringing the East Lansing-MSU community together to discuss compelling books that deal with the complex issues of our day,” said ELPL director Kristin Shelley. “We look forward to welcoming author Saroo Brierley to our community this fall and hearing the community discussions that take place around the themes in his book.”

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