This year’s selection for Concord Reads, the annual city-wide literary event organized by the Concord Public Library and community partners, is Ghost of the Innocent Man: A True Story of Trial and Redemption by New Hampshire native Benjamin Rachlin. Benjamin will be at Red River Theatres in Concord on May 2nd at 7 p.m.
Ghost of the Innocent Man tells the heart-wrenching story of an innocent man's twenty-five years in prison and a relentless champion's efforts to prove his innocence. Wrought with examples of the shortcomings of the country’s criminal justice system, the story is also suffused with hope and the possibility of meaningful reform as it follows the efforts of the people working to change the system. With an overarching theme of the roles of race and class in wrongful conviction, this title is sure to spark engaging and important conversation in the Concord Community.
During the event at Red River, Benjamin Rachlin will give a presentation on his writing process followed by a Q&A session hosted by Peter Biello of New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) and host of The Bookshelf. Following the Q&A, Benjamin will sign books and copies will be available for purchase. This event is free and open to the public. Copies of Ghost of the Innocent Man are available for checkout at the Concord Public Library and its branches and the eBook & eAudiobook can be downloaded from the library website at www.concordpubliclibrary.net.
This year, Concord Reads programming will kick off with a wrongful conviction themed panel discussion at NHTI’s Grappone Hall, Room 301 on Wednesday, 3/13 at 7 p.m. The panel, which will be moderated by NHPR’s Jason Moon and host of the Bear Brook podcast, will consist of Cynthia Mousseau – NH Staff Attorney for the New England Innocence Project, Sean Ellis –who was incarcerated for 21 years before recently being exonerated, Gilles Bissonnette – Legal Director at the ACLU-NH, and Don Topham – a Hillsborough County Assistant Attorney.
Concord Reads was launched 17 years ago by a group of local residents who teamed up with the public library to forge community connections by encouraging citizens of all ages and backgrounds to read and discuss the same book. According to the American Library Association, “One Community, One Book” programs have been established nationwide as communities “embraced the notion of civic unity through the reading of literature.”
As part of an ongoing partnership between Concord Reads and Concord High School, a number of CHS students will be reading Ghost of the Innocent Man and Benjamin Rachlin will be meeting with them in addition to his appearance at Red River Theatres.
To find out more about Concord Reads, Ghost of the Innocent Man, and this year’s slate of programming, visit the Concord Reads website at www.concordpubliclibrary.net/concordreads, or contact Nicole Schulze at firstname.lastname@example.org.