Tag Archives: life stories

How Rebecca Skloot Built The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, has been interviewed a multitude of times on the story behind the book, but The OPEN Notebook chose instead to focus on these two interesting topics: the structure of the story, and Skloot’s decision to put herself in the book.

Skloot, who received her MFA in nonfiction at the University of Pittsburgh, is certainly no stranger to structuring stories, and can in fact, become quite obsessed with it.

“My philosophy is,” Skloot tells The OPEN Notebook, “once you understand what structure is, then you can talk about characters and narrative arcs and how to fill in the story. But for me, structure can just completely make or break something.”

To read the full article, including Skloot’s own personal photos of her impressive color-coded index card collection made while organizing the story, click here.

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Virginia Commonwealth University Selects The Other Wes Moore as FYE Pick for Fall!

Exciting news this morning: Common Reads has learned that Virginia Commonwealth University has selected The Other Wes Moore as its First Year Experience pick for this fall!

Lets not forget that Moore will also be a featured speaker at next weekend’s First Year Experience Conference in Atlanta, GA. If you haven’t registered yet for the FYE luncheon, it’s not too late to snag the last few spots!

The Other Wes Moore is the story of two young men and the journey of a generation. It has also been adopted as common reading at Bay Path College (Springfield, MA), Cabrini College (Radnor, PA), California State University at Bakersfield (Bakersfield, CA), and selected for community reading programs in Bakersfield, CA and Multnomah County Library in Portland, OR.

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One more for Enrique’s Journey!

 

Another great adoption for Enrique’s Journey!

CommonReads has just learned that Sonia Nazario’s book has been selected as Millersville University’s fifth freshman read.

In case you missed it, click here to view Ms. Nazario’s upcoming speaking schedule.

Also, check out the book’s website  for educator extras  including Teacher’s Guides, videos, photos, news articles and other supplimentary materials.

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Mark your calendars for the Seventh Annual Random House First-Year Experience Author Luncheon!

        

Random House announces its Seventh Annual Author Luncheon at the 2011 First-Year Experience Conference in Atlanta, GA.

Authors in attendance include:

Wes Moore, author of The Other Wes Moore: The Story of One Name and Two Fates
Eboo Patel, author of Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, in the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation
Jon Prendergast, author of The Enough Moment: Fighting to End Africa’s Worst Human Rights Crimes
Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

WHEN: Monday, February 7th, 11:30AM-1:30PM
WHERE: Marriott Marquis, Atlanta, GA, Room A602 on the Atrium Level
WHY: To hear four authors speak about their books

Past luncheon authors have included Tracy Kidder, Carlotta Walls LaNier, Sonia Nazario, Warren St. John and Bill Strickland.

Join us for FREE books and FREE lunch!

View the invitation here and RSVP soon! Space is limited!

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Spotlight on: The Other Wes Moore

Two boys with the same name lived in the same decaying city. One went on to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated combat veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence in prison. The Other Wes Moore is the story of two young men and the journey of a generation.

Adopted as common reading at Bay Path College (Springfield, MA), Cabrini College (Radnor, PA) and California State University at Bakersfield (Bakersfield, CA) and selected for community reading programs in Bakersfield, CA and Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR, The Other Wes Moore explores issues of identity, race and education through unique juxtaposition.

“This intriguing narrative is enlightening, encouraging, and empowering. Read these words, absorb their meanings, and create your own plan to act and leave a legacy.”
—Tavis Smiley, from the Afterword

Paperback Available January 2011

Wes Moore will be a featured speaker at the Seventh Annual Random House, Inc. Author Luncheon during the 2011 First-Year Experience Conference. The conference is being held February 4-8, 2011 in Atlanta, GA. More information regarding the Author Luncheon and how to reserve your ticket is forthcoming!

 Read the book and then hear him speak! CommonReads is giving away TWO copies of The Other Wes Moore. Comment below and tell us why this book may be a good fit for your program and you will be entered to win. Offer only available to university professors and administrators, high school teachers, and librarians in the United States.

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Southern Methodist University videos get the word out about Common Reading

Looking for new and exciting ways to get the word out about your common reading selection?

Take a page out of SMU’s book.

To inform students about their 2010 Common Reading book, Zeitoun by Dave Eggers, Southern Methodist University produced a video including an introduction to the book’s topic, feedback from other students who have read the book, and a welcome message to incoming first-year students from returning seniors.

View other SMU video for the 2009 Common Reading book, Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama featuring students, here, and director of First-Year Writing and Common Reading coordinator, Diana Grumbles, here.

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Why Howard University will have Dreams from My Father

 

The Writing Program at Howard University has selected Barack Obama’s memoir, Dreams From My Father for its Common Text to be read by all incoming first-year students this Fall.

Says Dana A. Williams, Ph.D., Department of English Chair, about their selection:

. . .few contemporary texts show better mastery of rhetorical strategies and expository writing skills than the President’s memoir. While reading Dreams, students will learn about one of the world’s most important figures, see how he uses writing to craft his self-image and self-narrative, and gain heightened awareness of contemporary social, political, cultural, and familial issues.

Written prior to the President’s election, Dreams from My Father is a lyrical and unsentimental look at his experiences as the son of a black African father and a white American mother.

The book has also been selected for common reading at the following colleges and universities: Augustana College, Boston College, California State University Eastbay, Elmhurst College, LaGuardia Community College, Quinnipiac University, Southern Methodist University, University of Illinois at Chicago, University Illinois at Urbana – Champaign, University of Washington, and Xavier University of Louisiana.

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