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One Book, Two Cities: "Vienna" by Eva Menasse

December 3, 2013

OBTCIndianapolis readers are invited to join those in Cologne, Germany for "One Book, Two Cities," a first-of-its-kind shared r
eading campaign that continues through February 2014 as part of the Sister City relationship between the two international cities.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard was joined by Indianapolis Public Library representatives and project supporters at Central Library on December 3 to announce the "One Book" title – Vienna by Eva Menasse. The freelance author from Berlin, Germany provided greetings via Skype during the ceremony, as did representatives of the Cologne Public Library.

The novel is a fictional account of a part-Jewish Viennese family negotiating the trials brought forth by the Nazi invasion and subsequent aftermath as family members become scattered throughout Europe and North America. First published in 2005 and translated in English by Anthea Bell in 2007, Vienna received the Corine Award for Best Debut novel. Born in Vienna in 1970, Menasse was recently awarded the esteemed Heinrich Böll Prize by the City of Cologne for outstanding achievement in German literature.

Free copies of Vienna are available for pick-up at all Indy Library locations. In addition to scheduled Library book discussions led by trained facilitators, local residents are encouraged to organize their own book clubs and discuss the book among co-workers, friends, family and neighbors. Specially-created discussion kits are available as a guide to help book groups get started and provide discussion ideas for Vienna. The Sister City blog site, accessed from the Library's homepage at, allows participants in Indianapolis and Cologne to share thoughts and submit photos of their discussion experiences. They can respond to bilingual blogs posted from Library representatives in each city.

A number of other free Library events related to Vienna are planned in conjunction with "One Book, Two Cities." Joshua Taylor, host of the "Genealogy Roadshow" (PBS) and "Who Do You Think You Are" (NBC and TLC) and lead genealogist for, will present a program entitled, "Finding the Roots of Your Family Legends" on Sunday, January 5 at 2 p.m. at Central Library. Other programs presented at various Indy Library locations include, "Writing Your Family Story," "Preserving Family Photographs: From Daguerreotype to Digital," and "Using Sanborn Maps to Research Family Genealogy."

"One Book, Two Cities" is made possible through generous support from BMO Harris Bank and The Indianapolis Foundation Library Fund.

To learn more about upcoming "One Book, Two Cities" activities, visit