Office of First-Year Programs
Ben Trapanick, Director, First-Year Programs
Dwight Hall Room 116
Ashlee Givins, Assistant Director, First-Year Programs
Dwight Hall Room 116
Each year a new title is selected as the Common Reading for that academic year. Students are expected to read the book during the summer prior to arrival in September and be ready to actively take part in classroom discussions. All Foundations seminars will be incorporating the book into their curricula and many other courses will be using it as well. Students should read the book with critical eyes, thinking about many of the themes that are present. Students should also consider how it relates to the life of an 18-year old student who is beginning life as a college student. Events will take place throughout the first semester related to the book.
The selection for the Class of 2017 is The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz.
About the book-
Oscar is a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd who—from the New Jersey home he shares with his old world mother and rebellious sister—dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, finding love. But Oscar may never get what he wants. Blame the fukú—a curse that has haunted Oscar’s family for generations, following them on their epic journey from Santo Domingo to the USA. Encapsulating Dominican-American history, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao opens our eyes to an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and explores the endless human capacity to persevere—and risk it all—in the name of love.
Taken from http://www.junotdiaz.com/books/the-brief-wondrous-life-of-oscar-wao/
About the Author
Junot Díaz was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Drown; The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and This Is How You Lose Her, a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist. He is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, PEN/Malamud Award, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, and PEN/O. Henry Award. A graduate of Rutgers College, Díaz is currently the fiction editor at Boston Review and the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.