Author of the 2016-17 selection for Arkansas’ statewide reading program will be at the Alma Public Library on June 15 to discuss her novel.

Cassie Dandridge Selleck, author of “The Pecan Man,” will take part in a free event at the Alma Library’s community room from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to discuss and sign copies of her book.

“The Pecan Man” is the current selection for the If All Arkansas Read the Same Book statewide reading program. Arkansans have been encouraged to read and discuss the book in book clubs and libraries throughout the year.

Selleck is beginning her statewide tour June 11 and in addition to Alma will visit Hot Springs, St. Paul, Morrilton, Newport, Paragould, Wynne, Beebe, Siloam Springs and Harrison.

“The Pecan Man” is a Southern fiction novel that tells the story of Ora Lee Beckworth, who in 1976 - recently widowed and childless - hires a homeless old black man, known as the “pecan man,” to mow her lawn.

After the police chief’s son is stabbed to death, the man is arrested and accused of murder. It’s 25 years later when Beckworth, the story’s narrator, sets out to tell the truth about what happened.

Set in Florida, the book explores issues of race, redemption, family and community.

The first chapter of “The Pecan Man” was the winner of the 2006 CNW/FFWA Florida State Writing Competition, now known as the Writers-Editors Network International Writing Competition, in the unpublished novel category.

Selleck is based in Florida and published “The Pecan Man,” her first novel, in 2012. The book has sold more than 150,000 copies, been produced as an audio book by Blackstone and optioned for film rights to BCDF Pictures.

If All Arkansas Read the Same Book is presented by the Arkansas Center for the Book at the Arkansas State Library and all programs are offered for free.

Copies of “The Pecan Man” are available at all public libraries throughout the state. The project is funded by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Arkansas State Library.

Past programs have featured books by Daniel Black, Laura Castoro, Rick Bragg, Sandra Cisneros, Doug Kelly, Jennifer Paddock, Sid McMath, Jeff Shaara, Shirley Abbott and Kevin Brockmeier.

For more information on If All Arkansas Read the Same Book, call Zoe Butler at (501) 682-2874.