The Common Reading Program at Appalachian State is excited to announce the 2020-2021 book selection: Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore, by Elizabeth Rush.

The book was a 2019 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in General Nonfiction. According to the Pulitzer Prize website, Rising is a "rigorously reported story about American vulnerability to rising seas, particularly disenfranchised people with limited access to the tools of rebuilding."

Rush's creative nonfiction approach makes real and palpable the numerous implications of sea- level rise. In place of statistical charts and tables, the author crafts a series of short narratives that illustrate how rising waters are "not discerning" in how they indelibly and inevitably affect people and places, history and time.

We will feature author Elizabeth Rush for a series of online events throught the academic year; the first event will be during the last week of September 2020. The year-long Common Reading experience will also include a variety of related activities, lectures, and events. Details will be made available as they become finalized.


Since 1997, incoming freshmen at ASU have been asked to read a book as part of their orientation to Appalachian. By participating in the Common Reading Program, students establish a common experience with other new students that will help develop a sense of community with their new environment and introduce them to a part of the academic life they are beginning at Appalachian. This program is an exciting facet in Appalachian's orientation of new students to life on our campus.