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September 21, 2020


Contact: Donna Scott-Martin

One Maryland One Book Program Celebrates Reading in Maryland

Largo, Maryland – The annual One Maryland One Book (OMOB) program returns this September-November with a series of virtual events focused on New York Times bestsellingauthor Lisa See’s “The Island of Sea Women.” This statewide program, hosted by Maryland Humanities, the Maryland Center for the Book, and locally by the Prince George's County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS), provides Prince Georgians with an opportunity to celebrate their love of reading with book discussions and a special author event. Lisa See will appear for a virtual conversation with the Library’s CEO Roberta Phillips on Sunday, October 4 at 7 pm.

Lisa See’s book, “The Island of Sea Women,” captures the decades-long complex friendship between Young-sook and Mi-ja, two women living on the Korean island of Jeju during the Japanese occupation of the 1930’s and 1940’s, World War II, and through the Korean War. From diverse backgrounds, their seemingly inseparable friendship is pushed to its breaking point.

Related virtual book discussions are being facilitated by the following PGCMLS branches: Laurel (9/22 at 7:30 pm), Oxon Hill (10/13 at 2 pm), Bowie (10/14 at 7:15 pm), and Beltsville (10/15 at 2 pm). The Library will also host a communitywide discussion of the book (10/20 at 7 pm) facilitated by staff members Carian Gray and Nancy Love.

See’s books include “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan,” “The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane,” “Peony in Love,” “Shanghai Girls,” “Dreams of Joy,” and “China Dolls.” In her works, Lisa See unveils deliberately covered up, forgotten, or lost stories. Her research of the secret writing invented, used, and kept a secret by women for over a thousand years as shared in “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” took Lisa See to a remote area of China.

I’m thrilled and honored that The Island of Sea Women has been chosen as the 2020 One Maryland One Book selection. This has been a trying year and some of us have sustained terrible losses. I’m proud of the way we’ve had to come together in our families, communities, and states. Books have always given me joy, solace, and courage. Now we have the opportunity to come together to have a shared reading experience. I hope the sea women that I wrote about—their physical and emotional bravery—are as inspiring to all of you as they have been to me. I’m so looking forward to our events and meeting all of you. We’re going to have fun!Lisa See

PGCMLS’ 2020 One Maryland One Book program is co-presented with the PGCMLS Foundation, the Prince George’s Community College Library, and the Prince George’s County Human Relations Commission. Event links and registration are available at

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About the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System

The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) helps customers discover and define opportunities that shape their lives. The Library serves the 915,000+ residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland through 19 branch libraries, a 24/7 online library, and pop-up services throughout the community. PGCMLS is a responsive and trusted community-driven organization. Programs, services, and outreach activities serve book-lovers, immigrants and refugees, job seekers, children, young professionals, seniors, and families alike. The Books from Birth and Ready 2 Read programs make the Library the primary source of early literacy education and Kindergarten readiness programs in the County.

PGCMLS’ robust online offerings include curated content collections for kids, teens, educators, Spanish speakers, and more. Virtual events and outreach provide access to the Library from the comfort of home or on the go. Special programs include the D.R.E.A.M. Lab, STEM Pals, and 3D printing, which offer teens and lifelong learners with opportunities to learn cutting-edge technology and STEM skills for job readiness or personal enrichment. The Library also provides drive-up WiFi access at all branches and mobile hotspot devices. The Library’s Laurel Branch Library received the 2018 AIA/ALA Library Building Award and was designated the best new public building in Maryland.

About the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System Foundation

The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) Foundation provides critical philanthropic support to the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System. It strengthens the Library’s capacity to innovate, adapt to change, and ensure our libraries remain a vital resource for all in Prince George’s County now and in the future. Our libraries are more than a place to find books; they are spaces–both physical and online–to empower individuals, strengthen families, and make our county a better place.

About Maryland Humanities

Maryland Humanities is a statewide, educational nonprofit organization that creates and supports educational experiences in the humanities that inspire all Marylanders to embrace lifelong learning, exchange ideas openly, and enrich their communities.