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One City, One Story 2003

    By Leif Enger

About the Author
Leif Enger Born: Feb. 14, 1961, in Sauk Centre, Minn., to Osakis High School bandleader Don and teacher Wilma Enger.

Family: Married 20 years to Robin Reed Enger, an education major he met at Moorhead State University, where he was studying English. They have two sons, ages 10 and 14. 

Home: A 56-acre tract of forest and farmland near Aitkin, Minn., north of Lake Mille Lacs.

Career: Spent 16 years as an outstate reporter and producer for Minnesota Public Radio's "Mainstreet Radio." He quit after selling foreign and movie rights to "Peace Like a River."

What he reads: He recently finished Peter Carey's "True History of the Kelly Gang" and Larry McMurtry's travel-writing collection, "Roads." He continually returns to the works of Robert Service and Robert Louis Stevenson.

From:  Retrieved July 1, 2003

Leif Enger's Peace Like a River has been a bookseller favorite from the moment it was published; it was a No. 1 Book Sense 76 pick, and won the 2002 Book Sense Book of the Year award!

It's hit the top of numerous bestseller lists, and was named a Best Book for 2001 by Time magazine, the Los Angeles Times, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Denver Post. 

Before this solo writing venture, Enger wrote several books with his brother Lin, including The Sinners' League.  He grew up in Minnesota, and lives there with his wife and children.

From:  Retrieved July 1, 2003

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About the Book
Peace Like A River

Set in the Minnesota countryside and North Dakota Badlands of the early 1960s, Peace Like a River is a moving, engrossing, beautifully told story about one family's quest to retrieve its most wayward member. Reuben Land, the novel's asthmatic and self-effacing eleven-year-old narrator, recounts an unforgettable journey riddled with outlaw tales, heartfelt insights, and bona fide miracles. Born without air in his lungs, Reuben is keenly aware of the gift of breath—and, by extension, the gift of life. Time and again, both gifts are bestowed on Reuben by his father, a gentlemanly soul who works as a school janitor and has the power—and faith—to bestow true miracles. But when Davy (Reuben's brother) kills two intruders who break into the Land home with evil intent, and then escapes from prison while his trial is in progress, events seem to have worsened beyond the aid of miracles. Or have they? For, once Reuben and his family set out to find Davy, the reader eventually witnesses rivers, plains, and city lights unseen by mortal eyes.

Equal parts tragedy, romance, adventure yarn, and meditation, Peace Like a River is an inspired story of family love, religious faith, and the lifelong work and trust required of both. Leif Enger's first novel is a work of easy generosity and uncommon wisdom, a book to be shared with friends and loved ones.

One City, One Story would like to thank Grove/Atlantic Press for permission to use the photos of the author & book cover, and the Reader's Guide.

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Last update: August 14, 2009