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‘Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009’ is ECU’s summer reading selection

GREENVILLE, N.C.   (June 28, 2010)   —   A Dave Eggers-edited compilation of fiction, nonfiction, essays and other writings has been chosen as East Carolina University’s Pirate Read.

The volume, described by Publishers Weekly as “both uproarious and illuminating,” was picked as the summer reading selection for first-year students because it addresses a mix of topics and composition styles.

“The variety of material could relate to a wide-range of courses and campus activities,” said Karen Smith, who oversees orientation as associate director of ECU’s First Year Center. “The pieces are selected by a committee comprised of high school seniors, which is the population we are targeting.”

“Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009” was compiled by Eggers and students from his nonprofit writing center in San Francisco. Eggers is best known for his memoir, “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius,” and for founding McSweeney’s, a publishing house.

The book will be used in many classes, including introductory English 1100 courses and Counselor and Adult Education 1000. Faculty and staff are also planning activities to complement the book, Smith said.  

This is the third year of ECU’s summer reading initiative for first-year students. Many universities ask incoming students to read a common book.

“It provides a uniting academic experience,” Smith said.