Washington University in St. Louis has selected Eula Biss’ National Book Critics Circle Award winner Notes from No Man’s Land: American Essays for the 2013 First Year Reading Program. Throughout the fall semester, the book will be a feature in new students’ college transition.
Incoming members of the class of 2017 will receive a copy of Notes from No Man’s Land from a university this summer. They’re asked to read the book and consider its themes; the university has created a Reader’s Guide to help them get started. Students will discuss their thoughts during Bear Beginnings, WUSTL’s fall orientation program. Lead by a faculty member or another leader from the campus community, students will discuss the book with other freshmen from their residence hall.
What do you think? What are your opinions? What would you like to ask your new classmates or professors? . . . We urge you to approach the First Year Reading Program discussions in a spirit of openness and the delight of discovery . . . There are no right or wrong answers, no grades, and diverse viewpoints and perspectives will be encouraged and respected. The more involved you choose to be, the more you will take away from this experience.
Each year, the university sponsors a contest, challenging first year students to express their perspective on the common reading book through a creative medium. This year, students who respond to Notes from No Man’s Land through writing, video, photography, art, or music will be eligible to win one of five spots at a lunch with author Eula Biss in September. One grand prize winner will also receive a $250 gift certificate to the campus bookstore.
Notes from No Man’s Land • Graywolf Press • 208 pages