The Common Reading Program at Appalachian State is pleased to announce the 2017-18 book selection: One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. One Amazing Thing is a fictional story 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.
Prof. Martha McCaughey, Director of the Common Reading Program, said that “We are enthused about the ways this book will engage the incoming first-year students,” each of whom will receive a copy of the book during their summer orientation visit.
Appalachian will welcome the author to campus on Monday, August 21, 2017, when she will give an address at Black & Gold Convocation and appear at other events throughout the day, including a reading and book signing.
Throughout the academic year, McCaughey said, students will remain engaged with the book’s themes in their First Year Seminar classes and through programming around the book, which will include an art exhibition and a live storytelling event, in which students will be encouraged to share stories of “one amazing thing” from their own lives.
Chitra Banerjee 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 her writing has been included in over 50 anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Prize Stories and the Pushcart Prize Anthology. Her books have been translated into 29 languages, including Dutch, Hebrew, Bengali, Russian and Japanese, and many of them have been used for campus-wide and city-wide reads. Several of her works have been made into films and plays. She lives in Houston with her husband Murthy and has two sons, Anand and Abhay, who are in college. Divakaruni teaches creative writing at the University of Houston.
Visit Chitra Divakaruni's blog of Amazing Things.