The Common Reading Program book selected for the Class of 2022 is Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie.
The Washington University Common Reading Program aims:
To provide a common intellectual experience for incoming students, as well as participating members of the faculty and staff.
To provide an opportunity for students to meet and interact with a member of the Washington University faculty or staff in an informal discussion, outside the boundaries of the classroom and formal academic requirements.
To introduce students to the spirit of inquiry and debate that is integral to the Washington University academic community.
Chosen by a selection committee of students, faculty, and staff, the Common Reading Program book is an interesting and stimulating read around which your first academic exercise at Washington University will be based. We invite you to read the book before your arrival on campus and explore its themes in your mind. What do you think? What are your opinions? What would you like to ask your new classmates or professors?
During Bear Beginnings: New Student Fall Orientation, you will participate in a faculty or staff led discussion of the book along with students from your first-year residential floor. We urge you to approach the Common Reading Program discussions in the spirit of openness and the delight of discovery. This is a unique and valuable opportunity to challenge yourself, share your ideas, learn about different viewpoints and meet and engage in dialogue with your classmates and a university faculty member or other member of the university community. 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.
Throughout the first semester, you will encounter themes from the book in classes, discussions, and engaging on-campus programming. Happy reading!