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Since 1997, incoming freshmen at ASU have been asked to read a book as part of their orientation to Appalachian State University. By participating in the Common Reading Program, students establish a common experience with other new students.
This year's selection is One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. One Amazing Thing (Hyperion, 2010) is about nine people from different backgrounds who become trapped together by an earthquake for days, using storytelling to help them survive while they hope and pray for rescue. The book offers lessons for bridging cultural and ethnic diversity through storytelling; prompts discussions about prejudice, cultural misunderstanding, alienation and interpersonal communication; and offers inspiration for overcoming life’s obstacles.
As with Common Reading authors of past years, Divakaruni will speak on campus at Black and Gold Convocation. The 2017 Convocation, which is open to the public, will be on August 21. She will appear at other events that day as well, including a discussion with faculty, a book reading and book signing.
Divakaruni is an award-winning and bestselling author, poet, activist and teacher of writing. Her stories explore women, immigration, history, myth, magical realism and diversity. Her work has been published in over 50 magazines, including the Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker, and included in over 50 anthologies, including “The Best American Short Stories,” the “O. Henry Prize Stories” and the “Pushcart Prize Anthology.”