Freshman Reader Program

The Freshman Reader Program is designed to provide first-year students with a shared academic experience and to introduce them into an educational community where intellectual engagement is fostered and valued.

The program utilizes a common book that all entering freshman are given and required to read during the summer.  The book is then utilized in various freshman classes and activities during the academic year.

Faculty members are invited to incorporate the book into their courses designed for first-year students during the fall semester.  Faculty and staff are also needed as discussion leaders for the Freshman Reader Day event in September.  (Books will be provided to participants.)

Spring 2012 selection:

Namesake

Namesake takes the Ganguli family from their tradition-bound life in Calcutta through their fraught transformation into Americans. On the heels of their arranged wedding, Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli settle together in Cambridge, Massachusetts. An engineer by training, Ashoke adapts far less warily than his wife, who resists all things American and pines for her family. When their son is born, the task of naming him betrays the vexed results of bringing old ways to the new world. 

Named for a Russian writer by his Indian parents in memory of a catastrophe years before, Gogol Ganguli knows only that he suffers the burden of his heritage as well as his odd, antic name. Lahiri brings great empathy to Gogol as he stumbles along the first-generation path, strewn with conflicting loyalties, comic detours, and wrenching love affairs. With penetrating insight, Jhumpa Lahiri reveals not only the defining power of the names and expectations bestowed upon us by our parents, but also the means by which we slowly, sometimes painfully, come to define ourselves.

For more information, please contact Bob Baer (718-516-2429), Room AC-2C01 or  Kay Neale (718-516-5272), Room AC-3D04