et your neighbors. Add Event

Events on November 10, 2020

  • Discussion with Jean Thompson, Author of "The Year We Left Home" 7pm to 8pm @ Virtual Event

    INconversation with Jean Thompson

    by Indiana Humanities

    Join a discussion with Jean Thompson, author of "The Year We Left Home" and Barb Shoup!

    “But back home, I can look up and down just about any street and there’s people I’m either related to or I’ve known them all my life and my parents have known them and my grandparents knew their grandparents and there’s a comfort in that. I miss it. That’s all I’m saying. Here, it’s like we’re not from anywhere.”

    These words, spoken by one of the characters in Jean Thompson’s novel The Year We Left Home, echo the lyrics of one of Indiana’s most recognizable songs, “Back Home Again in Indiana.” Like the song, Jean’s novel, selected by Indiana Humanities for its One State / One Story statewide read in 2020, describes the enduring, uniting power of place—why we choose or are forced to leave and when we decide to come home.

    Jean Thompson, the New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist for The Year We Left Home, is a Midwesterner with Indiana roots. We’re pleased to have her join us for a virtual INconversation to talk about her book, her career as a writer, and the stories we tell about the Midwest. Barb Shoup, the founding director of the Indiana Writers Center, will moderate the conversation.

    This special INconversation caps off a year of One State / One Story programming around the state and the second year of Indiana Humanities'’ INseparable initiative.



    This event will take place on Zoom; tickets are free but advanced registration is required. A confirmation email with details of how to log-in to the program will be sent the week of the event.

    Register here:



    Jean Thompson’s The Year We Left Home offers a sweeping, multi-generational look at changing Midwestern life during the final decades of the twentieth century. Read more:



    Jean Thompson is a novelist and short-story writer. Her works include the novels A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl, She Poured Out Her Heart, The Humanity Project, The Year We Left Home, City Boy, Wide Blue Yonder, The Woman Driver, and My Wisdom, as well as the short-story collections The Witch and Other Tales Re-Told, Do Not Deny Me, Throw Like a Girl, Who Do You Love (a National Book Award finalist), Little Face and Other Stories, and The Gasoline Wars. Thompson’s short fiction has been published in many magazines and journals, including the New Yorker, and anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize. Thompson has been the recipient of Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, among other accolades, and has taught creative writing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Reed College, Northwestern University and other colleges and universities. She lives in Urbana, Illinois.



    One State / One Story invites Hoosiers to engage deeply with a book as part of a statewide conversation tied to Indiana Humanities’ current theme, INseparable. In 2020, we’re reading Jean Thompson’s The Year We Left Home.



    Indiana Humanities connects people, opens minds and enriches lives by creating and facilitating programs that encourage Hoosiers to think, read and talk.


    Indiana Humanities will make reasonable modifications to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to enjoy our programs. If you need an accommodation, please email Claire Mauschbaugh at