Reading in Common Author John Pomfret Will Visit Campus

Posted on September 7th, 2008 by

John Pomfret is the author of <i>Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and the Story of the New China.</i>

John Pomfret is the author of <i>Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and the Story of the New China.</i>

<i>Chinese Lessons</i> was published in 2006.

<i>Chinese Lessons</i> was published in 2006.

Gustavus Adolphus College will welcome author John Pomfret to campus Monday, Sept. 15. Pomfret, the author of this year’s Reading in Common book, Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and the Story of the New China, will speak at 7 p.m. in Christ Chapel.

In its ninth year of existence at Gustavus, the Reading in Common program is designed to have all first-year students read a chosen book during the summer and then meet with faculty members and upper-class students during New Student Orientation to discuss it.

Pomfret is an award-winning journalist who lived and worked in China off-and-on for a decade starting in 1980. He was an Associated Press reporter in China during the Tiananmen Square protests in the late 1980’s and served as Beijing bureau chief for The Washington Post from 1998 to 2003. Pomfret is currently the editor of the Post’s Outlook section and is the newspaper’s expert on immigration.

In addition to his work in China, Pomfret has served as a foreign correspondent in several other countries including Bosnia, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq. In 2003 he received the Osborn Elliott Prize for the best coverage of Asia by the Asia Society. 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.

Pomfret’s lecture on Sept. 15 is also the first Gustavus Global Insight event of the 2008-09 academic year. Gustavus Global Insight is a campus-wide themed learning program in which Gustavus students, faculty, and staff will focus on one country, region, or global issue during the academic year. This year’s theme is China.

Following Pomfret’s lecture, there will be a question and answer session and a book signing. Questions regarding this event or the Reading in Common program at Gustavus can be directed to Director of Student Activities Megan Ruble at or 507-933-7597.


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


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