VILLANOVA, Pa. – Conor Grennan thought a three-month stint volunteering at an orphanage in civil war-torn Nepal would be a nice side adventure to a year-long globe-trotting journey. Little did he know that his stay at the Little Princes Children’s Home would define his life purpose – reuniting “orphans” abducted by child traffickers with their families.
Grennan, author of New York Times Best Seller Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal, will arrive at Villanova University Jan. 29 for a day-long visit to share the inspirational story of his enduring quest to safeguard young innocents like the residents of the Little Princes Children’s Home from the clutches of human traffickers. Little Princes, Villanova’s 2012-13 One Book program selection, provides a focal point of discussion for the University community throughout the academic year. The annual author visit is the capstone event of the One Book Villanova program.
The public is invited to join in welcoming Grennan to Villanova’s Main campus for a full line-up of activities held throughout the day, culminating in a 7:30 p.m. presentation by the author in the Villanova Room of The Connelly Center. Tickets are not required for the evening event. Doors will open at 7 p.m. Nepalese dancers will open the program at 7:15 p.m.
Book signings will be held from 1:30 p.m.to 2:30 p.m. in the first floor Speaker’s Corner lounge in Falvey Memorial Library and immediately following Grennan’s talk in the evening. A One Book Community Dinner honoring the author and featuring cuisine inspired by the book will begin at 5 p.m. in Dougherty Hall. Cost is $5, payable at the door.
Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal chronicles Grennan’s journey from a footloose rambler to the founder of Next Generation Nepal (NGN), a nonprofit organization dedicated to reconnecting trafficked children with their families. Soon after arriving at Little Prince’s Children’s Home, Grennan discovers that the little ones he has grown to love are not orphans but the victims of child traffickers. He sets off on a harrowing expedition across the treacherous Nepalese mountains that will not only reconnect the children with their families, but transform him in the process.
"Conor Grennan's Little Princes tells a remarkable story of self-discovery and self-transformation, starting with a young man's personal adventures in Nepal and ending with his quest to reconnect young children sold into servitude during civil war with their lost families,” said Joseph P. Lucia, director of Villanova’s Falvey Memorial Library and co-chairman of the One Book Villanova committee.
“The narrative takes us into remote and often dangerous regions in the high reaches of the Himalayas at the same time that it charts an inward journey toward the recognition of compassion and love as motives to action on behalf of the victims of human trafficking,” he added.
Lucia continued, “Grennan's narrative is full of action and intrigue but derives its power from the moments of kindness and affection that drive a twenty-something American on a mission to serve others. We are excited to hear Conor Grennan speak in person about his experiences in Nepal and his ongoing commitment to the betterment of children's lives there through the work of his foundation, Next Generation Nepal."
"One Book Villanova" is a distinctive educational program that engages all segments of the campus community – students, faculty and staff – in activities presented throughout the academic year that explore dominant themes presented in a selected book. Discussion groups, public readings, special events and a One Book blog site extend the campus community’s examination of Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal through the end of the spring semester.
Other selections featured since the One Book Villanova program began in 2005 include The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseni, Blood Done Sign My Name, by Timothy Tyson, Left To Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, Rooftops of Tehran by Mahbod Seraji, The Unforgiving Minute by Craig Mullaney, and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford.
About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.