The Class of 2018
Common Reading Program Selection
The Warmth of Other Suns:
The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
About the Book
In a story of hope and longing, three young people set out from the American South during different decades of the 20th Century en route to the North and West in search of the warmth of other suns. Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, George Swanson Starling and Robert Joseph Pershing Foster are among the six million African-Americans who fled the South during what would become known as the Great Migration. This book interweaves their stories, and those of others who made the journey, with the larger forces and inner motivations that compelled them to flee, and with the challenges they confronted upon arrival in the New World (isabelwilkerson.com). The Warmth of Other Suns will be read by all incoming members of the Class of 2018 and new transfer students as the Freshman Common Reading Program selection for the 2014-15 academic year.
Awards & Recognitions
National Book Critics Circle Award Winner
New York Times Best Seller
A Best Book Of The Year: The New York Times, USA Today, The New Yorker, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, The Economist, Boston Globe, Newsday, and Salon
About the Common Reading Program
The Common Reading Program at NSU is a joint collaborative effort between the Division of Academic Affairs and the Division of Student Affairs. Each year, a committee of faculty and administrators from each division review books to select one book to provide all incoming first-year students with a common experience as they begin their first-year journey at NSU. Students will receive a free copy of the selected reading at the conclusion of New Student Orientation. All first-year students will participate in campus-wide book discussions with IUL 101 instructors during Agoge Week.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of the Common Book Reading Program?
The Common Reading Program is designed to introduce incoming students to the academic environment of college. The purpose of the common reading is to provide first-year students with an enjoyable and rewarding reading experience, to provide an intentional opportunity for enhanced student-faculty interaction through meaningful dialogue, and to support the Introduction to University Life (IUL 101) course, which includes academic expectations derived from the content of the common reading selection.
Do I have to read the whole book?
We encourage you to read the entire book, but only parts one, two, three, & five are required. Please be prepared to discuss those sections and your own history during Agoge Week. Consider researching information such as where your family originated, where they resettled, and why they did so.
When do I need to have this book read?
The book selected for each year's Common Book Reading program will be distributed during New Student Orientation. Students are expected to read the book prior to arrival for Agoge Week. During Agoge Week, students will meet with selected faculty to discuss the book. At the end of the week, students and faculty will attend a speakers' seminar where the author or a relevant character will be present.
Is this book required for a course?
Yes. The common reading selection is a required reading for the University's Introduction to University Life (IUL 101) course. This course is a requirement for all first-year students.
Where can I find additional information about the topic?
For more information about this year’s selection, visit http://isabelwilkerson.com/
Ida Mae Brandon Gladney
The wife of a sharecropper and a mother of three, Ida ends up living in Chicago after fleeing Mississippi with her family.
George Swanson Starling
George has his mind set on going to college but switches gears after a couple of semesters and impulsively marries his wife Inez. He moves from Florida to New York where he flirts with the bustling temptations of the city life.
Robert Joseph Pershing Foster
Robert is a surgeon who migrates from Louisiana to California with the expectation of a better life. He flounders before reaching the level that he sees appropriate for himself.
About the Author: Isabel Wilkerson
“Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson devoted 15 years to the research and writing of The Warmth of Other Suns. She interviewed more than 1,200 people, unearthed archival works and gathered the voices of the famous and the unknown to tell the epic story of the Great Migration, one of the biggest underreported stories of the 20th Century and one of the largest migrations in American history.
The book was named to more than 30 Best of the Year lists, won the National Book Critics Circle Award, among other honors, and made national news when President Obama chose WARMTH for summer reading in 2011. In 2012, The New York Times named The Warmth of Other Suns to its list of the best nonfiction books of all time.
Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for her work as Chicago Bureau Chief of The New York Times, making her the first black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer Prize and the first African-American to win for individual reporting. She has appeared on national programs such as CBS' "60 Minutes," NPR's "Fresh Air" and PBS' "NewsHour" and "Charlie Rose Show." She had taught at Princeton University, Emory University and Boston University and has spoken at more than 100 universities in the United States and in Europe.”