The first-year summer reading book for the 2011-12 academic year has been chosen by a committee, comprised of faculty, staff and students. Next year's first-year students will read the book When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka as one of their first academic experiences at Saint Louis University.
The first-year summer reading program outcomes include: providing a shared intellectual experience that prepares incoming students to engage in discussion on various levels on an ongoing basis, addressing questions and life issues being faced by incoming students, either implicitly or explicitly introducing students to academic life and the uniqueness of Jesuit higher education, reflective of the mission of Saint Louis University, and providing opportunities for incoming students to dialogue with each other, and faculty and staff on campus.
The author, Julie Otsuka, will visit campus during fall 2010 to speak to the campus community.
There will be faculty/staff resources added later this semester to the First-Year Summer Reading website.
Students will receive the book during SLU 101 summer orientation, and will be asked to read the book over the summer prior to Welcome Week.
During Welcome Week, they will participate in a program around the theme of the book and they will also have the opportunity to interact in small group discussions led by faculty and staff of the University to dialogue about the reading.
A call for faculty/staff discussion leaders will be announced during the spring and summer if you are interested in becoming more involved in the first-year summer reading program.
Faculty and staff on campus are encouraged to review a copy of the book this semester, and determine ideas for integration of the text into academic curriculum and other programs as appropriate.
A limited number of books are currently available.
Contact Susan Krieg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 977-1570 to receive a free copy of the book.
About the Book:
Julie Otsuka's commanding debut novel paints a portrait of the Japanese internment camps unlike any we have ever seen. With crystalline intensity and precision, Otsuka uses a single family to evoke the deracination - both physical and emotional - of a generation of Japanese Americans. In five chapters, each flawlessly executed from a different point of view the mother receiving the order to evacuate; the daughter on the long train ride to the camp; the son in the desert encampment; the family's return to their home; and the bitter release of the father after more than four years in captivity, she has created a small tour de force, a novel of unrelenting economy and suppressed emotion. Spare, intimate, arrestingly understated, When the Emperor Was Divine is a haunting evocation of a family in wartime and an unmistakably resonant lesson for our times. It heralds the arrival of a singularly gifted new novelist. From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author:
Julie Otsuka was born and raised in California, the daughter and granddaughter of Japanese who were interned during World War II. She was educated at Yale University and received an M.F.A. from Columbia. She lives in New York City. This is her first novel.