Over the summer, each First-Year Seminar student is asked to read a text chosen by the FYS faculty the previous spring. While the books vary greatly in theme, genre, and style from year to year, they all aim to engage students with literature that challenges their worldviews and introduces them to college level reading and ideas.
The summer reading for 2011 is Zeitoun by Dave Eggers.
Spike Lee's documentary about Hurricane Katrina, "When the Levees Broke" (4 DVDs), is on reserve for HUM 100 at the library.
Imagine Charles Dickens, his sentimentality in check but his journalistic eyes wide open, roaming New Orleans after it was buried by Hurricane Katrina . . . Eggers' tone is pitch-perfect -- suspense blended with just enough information to stoke reader outrage and what it likely to be a typical response: How could this happen in America? . . . It's the stuff of great narrative nonfiction . . . Fifty years from now, when people want to know what happened to this once-great city during a shameful episode of our history, they will still be talking about a family named Zeitoun.
~ Timothy Egan, The New York Times Book Review
"Now, When the Waters Are Pressing Mightily" by Yehuda Amichai
Translated from the Hebrew by Leon Wieseltier. Published in the New Yorker, 10 January 2005.