‘Never Coming Back’ chosen as 2020 city-wide read

Published 6:40 am Thursday, December 5, 2019

The Austin Page Turners have made their decision and the 2020 Citywide Reading Event will be “Never Coming Back” by Alison McGhee.

The book follows the strained relationship between a mother and daughter as the main character returns home to care for her mother after she had left for college with the intent of never coming back home.

Email newsletter signup

During the story, the main character learns more about her mother and herself, said Theresa Becker-Ersland.

“This book is just a very beautiful, tender story and I think people will enjoy reading it,” she said.

One of the group’s few rules for the annual project, now in its 19th year, is that the author must be a Minnesota author, Co-Chair Bonnie Rietz said.

Although McGhee was born in New York, where many of her stories are set, and does not live in Minnesota full time, she is Minnesotan enough for the group, Bruce Richardson said.

“She lives in Minnesota enough to be considered a Minnesota author,” he said.

McGhee has taught in the state and still lives here part time.

In addition to writing fiction for adults, McGhee also writes children’s and teenage stories.

“She’s a very diverse kind of writer,” Richardson said.

“Never Coming Back” is this year’s Page Turners by Alison McGhee.
Photos provided

As part of a partnership with Austin High School, students will read another book by McGhee, “What I Leave Behind,” which follows a young man in Los Angeles dealing with his problems in 100, 100-word chapters.

Before the Austin Page Turners to make its decision, the group reads books suggested by members before coming to a consensus, Holly Johnson said.

Although the group has had years where it was hard to come to a decision, this year the choice was made quickly, Rietz said.

“This year, she just floated to the top and it was easy,” she said. “It went very well.”

The city-wide reading event will culminate on May 14, when McGhee comes to town.

Along with events throughout town, including McGhee meeting with high school students who read “What I Leave Behind,” there will be a presentation of the book at the Austin Public Library at 7 p.m.

The doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with refreshments served prior to the presentation.

Individuals will be able to get their copies of the book signed by McGhee at that time.

As well as checking out the books from the library, which has 25 copies available, readers can get the books at Sweet Reads or at the event.

Rietz said one of the reasons the group announces the book at this time of the year is so people can get the book as a gift for someone.

More information about the book can be found at www.aplmn.org/austin-page-turners.