Lauret Savoy, author of Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape (Counterpoint Press, 2015), will participate in a reading and discussion on September 21, 2017 as part of the College’s First-Year Book Program. Held at 4:30 p.m. in Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts, the event is free and open to the public.Savoy, who teaches environmental studies and geology at Mount Holyoke College, won the 2016 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation for Trace. A memoir mingled with travel writing and scientific and historical insight, Trace was also a finalist for the PEN American Open Book Award and the Phillis Wheatley Book Award, as well as shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing.
“In Trace,” writes James Allen Hall, associate professor of English and director of the Rose O’Neill Literary House, “Savoy understands that ‘sand and stone are Earth’s memory,’ and deploys that understanding to see how place inflects memory and history and the construction of race. She asks, ‘From what do we take our origins? From blood? …From incised memories?’ Trace is the result of a wordsmith, an archivist, a cartographer, a questioner who asks the land to reveal what it remembers about who we used to be—all so that we may be more free to remake ourselves now.”
Trace was assigned as the first-year read for the incoming Class of 2021. The program provides incoming freshmen the chance to immerse themselves in the College’s academic culture from their first moment on campus. The summer before classes begin, incoming first-year students read a book that reflects the mission of Washington College, in preparation for facilitated discussion with their peers. The program culminates with a reading and lecture by the author.
For more information on the literary events offered this year, visit the Literary House website at www.washcoll.edu/centers/lithouse/, or the English department website at www.washcoll.edu/departments/english/events.php. The annual Literary Events Calendar brochure can be found at www.washcoll.edu/live/files/7406-2017-2018.