Posted on April 19, 2019

2019 KU Common Book Offers Complex View of United States

Howard Graham, University of Kansas, April 18, 2109

Stories of struggle and conflict appear in abundance in the 2019-2020 KU Common Book, “Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation.” The collection, edited by John Freeman, features essays, short stories, poems and more from 36 prominent writers and thinkers in the United States today. Combined, they provide a complex vision of the nation that demands conversation and action around the challenges that might — if we recognize what is shared — bring us together.

The personal, affecting pieces in this collection will draw incoming students into conversations already happening at the University of Kansas. The previous three KU Common Books {snip} invited explorations of identities surrounding race, gender and immigration. “Tales of Two Americas” expands representation of varied identities and unites them under the broader umbrella of inequality and privilege, providing ample opportunities for all members of the KU community to explore their own experiences as they relate to the experiences of others.

The KU Common Book program seeks to connect departments across campus and help first-year students get involved in the intellectual life of the university. {snip}


The KU Common Book program creates a shared academic experience for first-year students and fosters connections among students, faculty and staff. New students receive the KU Common Book during Orientation and participate in discussion groups their first weekend on campus. {snip}