Rocky Mountain College has selected Jesmyn Ward’s National Book Award-winning novel, Salvage the Bones to inaugurate their new common reading initiative.
The RMC Common Read is “based principally on a shared reading experience.” Salvage the Bones was chosen by a committee of faculty, staff, and students from a list of thirty-five titles that had been nominated by the campus community.
The book is assigned reading in all First-Year Writing and Critical Reading and Evaluative Writing courses, both of which are part of the required Core Curriculum. In the selection process, the committee sought “a text relevant to multiple disciplines” to encourage discussion throughout the academic community.
Beyond the classroom, students heard a lecture by Jesmyn Ward when she visited campus in October. They also screened and discussed Beasts of the Southern Wild, the 2012 Academy Award-nominated film which, like Salvage the Bones, takes place in the southern Louisiana bayou as a hurricane approaches; the film and the novel touch on some of the same themes: isolation, poverty, family, survival.
Susan Olp of The Billings Gazette sat in on Associate Professor Jacqueline Dundas’ First-Year Writing course, where students were discussing the author’s emotive descriptions and the novel’s themes.
Ms. Olp spoke to a number of RMC students and professors about the Common Read program and about Salvage the Bones. Read more here: Award-winning novel focus of Rocky’s first Common Read
Salvage the Bones • Bloomsbury • 288 pages