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Academic Core

Common Reading

The campus-wide Common Read provides a touchstone for FYS courses and for events and conversation throughout the Marist community as a whole. The 2019-20 Common Read is The Power by Naomi Alderman. It is the first work of fiction we have chosen. This prize winning novel was published in 2017 and tells the story of a future where gendered power relations have been upended by women developing a new, potential deadly physical capacity. The novel has been called bold, disturbing, terrifying and illuminating. It poses provocative questions about human nature, gender roles, and privilege. We will bring in an expert on the book to give a lecture on campus in the fall semester. Other events throughout the 2019-20 academic year will invite you to reflect on the book’s questions and themes.

The Common Reading is chosen by a committee that includes faculty from across the College and a student representative. Past Common Reading selections include Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Crown, 2010), Steven Johnson’s The Ghost Map (Riverhead, 2005), Wes Moore’s The Other Wes Moore (Spiegel and Grau, 2011), and Reyna Grande’s The Distance Between Us (Washington Square Press, 2013). Students complete an essay assignment based on the book during the first few weeks of classes.