LAWRENCE – “Notes from No Man’s Land,” a 2009 collection of essays by writer Eula Biss, has been named the KU Common Book for the 2012-2013 academic year, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little announced today.
Fall 2012 will mark the beginning of the first year for KU Common Book, a campuswide initiative to engage first-year students. An emphasis on first-year experiences is part of the first goal of Bold Aspirations, the KU strategic plan.
“The common book selection committee has identified an engaging and unique book to launch our program, and I wholeheartedly endorse their recommendation,” said Gray-Little. “’Notes from No Man’s Land’ is a book the KU community will find both enjoyable and challenging. It is an exciting choice.”
“Notes from No Man’s Land” was recommended after a selection process that reviewed 125 nominated books submitted by more than 140 members of the KU community earlier this year. A selection committee made up of students, faculty and staff unanimously recommended the book in a letter to the chancellor.
In the selection committee’s recommendation, they wrote, “Overall, the committee sought a book that was provocative, challenging, creative and meaningful. ‘Notes from No Man’s Land’ carries out these qualities across all of its components: presentation, diction, prose and subject.” The selection committee also noted the quality of Biss’ writing and research, and the ease by which readers may read the individual essays both as a collection and as free-standing pieces.
Additional information on KU Common Book is available online. During orientation this summer, incoming freshmen will receive a copy of ‘Notes from No Man’s Land’ and be encouraged to read it prior to the beginning of classes in August.
Programming for KU Common Book will be integrated into Hawk Week 2012, including Convocation on Aug. 19. Author Eula Biss will visit the Lawrence campus Oct. 4-5.
“KU Common Book is a campuswide program, but our focus will be on first-year students and helping them understand what it means to be an undergraduate at KU,” said Gray-Little. “I look forward to discussing ‘Notes from No Man’s Land’ during the fall, and to welcoming Eula Biss to Lawrence in October.”