Students Urged to Participate in a Novel Idea

'Before You Know Kindness’ Selected for UT Dallas ‘Read One Book’ Program

June 30, 2008

Students entering UT Dallas this fall can add one more assignment to their to-do lists. But this one can be accomplished beachside, from the couch or in a comfy chair:  curling up with a good read.  

New this academic year, and in conjunction with the City of Richardson’s Read One Book initiative, students are encouraged to read the novel Before You Know Kindness by Chris Bohjalian before classes start Aug. 21. 

“We decided to tap into the city’s summer reading program because it’s a great way to get students interested in popular literature,” said Dr. Kimberly Aaron, associate dean of students at the University.  “But we also wanted to set up our club in a way that would be most accessible to students, so we decided to make it virtual via Facebook.” 

To that end, during July and August, students will have the chance to join online chats about the book.  As an added bonus, Bohjalian will participate in the virtual discussions in August. 

In addition, Dr. Dennis Kratz, dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, will facilitate an on-campus lecture about the book in the days before classes begin. 

Aaron said students are being notified about the club through summer orientations, which are taking place now through mid-August.  They also will receive a postcard at their permanent home addresses. 

“The Summer Book Club will allow students to share a common intellectual experience with their peers as they begin the UT Dallas experience,” Aaron said.  “I also hope it will encourage students to take advantage of the opportunity to meet people they’ve been virtually chatting with over the summer.”

Bohjalian, who also wrote the critically acclaimed book Midwives, will visit for a book signing and discussion on Sept. 16 at Richardson High School.

Before You Know Kindness — about a nightmarish accident that tests the values that united a family and the convictions that may pull it apart — is available through the UT Dallas bookstore and other book retailers. 

Aaron added that other UT Dallas students, as well as faculty and staff, also are invited to join the club.


Media contact: Jenni Huffenberger, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4431, jennib@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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Before You Know Kindness book jacket
As part of the Read One Book initiative, students are encouraged to read the novel Before You Know Kindness before classes start Aug. 21. 

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