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Author of ‘One Amazing Thing’ headlines convocation Aug. 21

By Mary Giunca

BOONE, N.C.—Author Dr. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is the keynote speaker at Appalachian State University’s Black and Gold Convocation on Aug. 21 at the Holmes Convocation Center. The event will begin at 10 a.m. and is open to the public.

Divarkaruni is the author of the novel, “One Amazing Thing,” the 2017-18 Common Reading Program selection. She will give the convocation address and participate in events on campus throughout the day.

The public is also invited to a 3 p.m. faculty panel discussion of the book in the Blue Ridge Ballroom (Rm 201) in Plemmons Student Union, with Ray Christian, First Year Seminar, University College; Sushmita Chatterjee, gender, women’s and sexuality studies program, College of Arts and Sciences; and Chris Osmond, Department of Leadership and Educational Studies, Reich College of Education.

At 4:30 p.m. in the same location, Divakaruni will give a reading of her novel, answer questions and sign copies of her book, which will be available for purchase.

Since 1997, incoming freshmen have been asked to read a book as part of their orientation to Appalachian. By participating in the Common Reading Program, students establish a common experience with other new students that helps develop a sense of community and introduce them to a part of the academic life they are beginning at Appalachian.

“One Amazing Thing” tells the story of nine people from different backgrounds who become trapped together by an earthquake for days, using storytelling to help them survive while they hope and pray for rescue. The novel’s theme is about the power of storytelling to bridge cultural and ethnic diversity. Divakaruni is an award-winning and bestselling author, poet, activist and teacher of writing. She is a professor in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston.

About Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.