The NEA Big Read Lakeshore, organized by Hope College, and the Eugene Peterson Center for Christian Imagination, a program of Western Theological Seminary, are collaborating to bring award-winning fiction author Leif Enger to Holland.

“An Evening with Leif Enger” will take place on Tuesday, April 26, at 7 p.m. in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall. The event will include a presentation by Enger and a question-and-answer opportunity, as well as hors d’oeuvres to enjoy.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

Leif Enger grew up in Osakis, Minnesota, and currently resides in Duluth, Minnesota, with his wife, Robin. He began his career as a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio before writing his bestselling debut novel “Peace Like a River.” The novel won the Booksense Award for Fiction and was also named as one of the Year’s Best Books by Time Magazine and the LA Times.

Enger’s second novel, “So Brave, Young, and Handsome,” was also a national bestseller. It won the High Plains Book Award for Fiction and was a Midwest Booksellers Honor Book. He recently published “Virgil Wander,” which has also received national recognition.

“I’m so excited that the Peterson Center and the NEA Big Read Lakeshore are partnering on this event,” said Dr. Deb Van Duinen, director of Hope College’s Big Read and associate professor of education at Hope. “Leif Enger has been one of my favorite authors since I first read ‘Peace Like a River’ in 2001. If our Lakeshore readers haven’t yet read his books, I highly encourage them to come to the event to learn more about Leif and add his books to their reading lists.”

Hope College’s NEA Big Read Lakeshore program began in 2014 with the goal to create and foster a culture where reading matters. By bringing the Lakeshore community together around a common book, Big Read Lakeshore uses the shared experience of reading, discussing and exploring the themes of the book as a springboard to listen to and learn from each other.

The NEA Big Read Lakeshore program is made possible in part by a grant from the NEA Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

Through nurturing circles of friendship, contemplative retreats, theological reflection, art-filled spaces, and public conversations, the Eugene Peterson Center of Western Theological Seminary hopes to bear witness to the God Eugene loved and pointed toward his entire life. The center also serves as caretaker of Peterson’s letters, journals and manuscripts, and aims to continue the conversation Eugene Peterson encouraged, pondering the questions that shaped his Christian imagination over a lifetime.

Audience members who need assistance to fully enjoy any event at Hope are encouraged to contact the college’s Events and Conferences Office by emailing or calling 616-395-7222 on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Updates related to events are posted when available in the individual listings at

Graves Hall is located at 263 College Ave., between 10th and 12th streets.