What is a Common Reading?
A common reading is one way to create community connections among students, and between students and their professors, WSU and others. Topics in a selected book are examined throughout the year by members of the university community. They spark discussions and intellectual conversations in and beyond course spaces, highlight WSU research and the diversity of ideas across disciplines, and introduce different ways to explore complex issues from a variety of perspectives.
The Washington State University Common Reading Program has announced that the 2016 book by television star and comedian Trevor Noah, titled, “Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood,” will be used as the 2020-21 shared read for students. Noah’s book is the fourteenth in as many years to be chosen for use by WSU first-year and other students in courses and academic discussions. “Born a Crime” will be used at Pullman and likely at several other campuses.
What’s it about?
The book describes several of Noah’s experiences growing up as the son of a white Swiss father and black Xhosa tribe woman under an apartheid government. At the time, being of mixed races in that country was illegal. That was the basis for the book’s title.