Ursinus is Talking About….. “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz, a multigenerational tale of a Dominican family that immigrates to the United States. The campus-wide initiative asks student, faculty and staff to participate in discussions and events based on a selected text, throughout the year. Diaz will be on campus Oct. 25 at 4:30 p.m. in The Kaleidoscope Lenfest Theater to join “Ursinus is Talking About . . .”, discussing his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.
Ursinus is Talking About….. “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao”
Under the extracurricular program, each semester the Ursinus community will be invited to engage with a new text, which could be a book, film, performance art exhibition or musical composition. A series of events will encourage engagement with the text. Any campus community member is also free to organize an event.
“The purpose of the program is really to demonstrate the pleasure of intellectual engagement,” said Liberal Studies faculty member Elizabeth Kessler. “It doesn’t have to happen only in the classroom or only for a grade. It can be pursued for its own sake,” she says.
Diaz’s book, which is related to the complex political history of the Dominican Republic, is both serious and humorous, but ultimately asks us to think about what it means to live in a diverse community, she adds.
Free copies of the book are available for returning students, faculty and staff at various locations around campus, including the Student Life Office, Myrin Library, and the departments of Chemistry, Theater and Dance and Politics.
In addition to the Pulitzer, the book is the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize, and was designated a New York Times Notable Book, and Time Magazine’s Fiction Book of the Year. — WG