Gustavus Chooses Reading in Common Book

Posted on May 13th, 2008 by

John Pomfret will visit Gustavus on Sept. 15.

John Pomfret will visit Gustavus on Sept. 15.

Gustavus Adolphus College has selected Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and the Story of the New China by John Pomfret as its Reading in Common book for the 2008-09 academic year. The book recounts the lives of several of Pomfret’s former classmates at Nanjing University in order to examine China’s tumultuous history and promising future.

This is the ninth year of the Reading in Common program at Gustavus. All first-year students are expected to read the chosen book during the summer and then meet with faculty members and upperclass students during New Student Orientation to discuss it. New Student Orientation is also loosely based around the themes found in the book. In addition to being integrated into new student orientation, this year’s selection will also be a part of the college’s new, campuswide themed learning program, Gustavus Global Insight.

“This is a timely topic as China has become a force in the global economy,” said Director of Student Activities Megan Ruble. “We are also pleased that this material will support the first year of the Gustavus Global Insight program.”

Pomfret is a respected journalist who has served as a foreign correspondent in several countries including China, Bosnia, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq. Formerly Beijing Bureau Chief for the Washington Post, he is currently the Post’s Los Angeles bureau chief. In 2003 he received the Osborne Elliot Prize for the best coverage of Asia by the Asia Society, and in 2007 he received the Shorenstein Prize from the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University for distinguished writing and reporting that helps Americans to better understand the complexities of Asia.

Books for the Reading in Common program are chosen based on their literary quality, reading manageability, interdisciplinary nature, and the author’s availability for a campus appearance. Pomfret will visit Gustavus Sept. 15 and will give a public lecture that evening in Christ Chapel.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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