ASU Common Reading Experience
Leaving Mother Lake: A Girlhood at the Edge of the World
Namu, Yang Erche and Christine Mathieu. Back Bay Books. ISBN: 978-0316735490
Summary from Amazon.com:
"In a remote part of China near the Himalayas live the Moso people. Except for a couple of somewhat humorous attempts at assimilation by the revolutionaries, their traditions have remained unchanged. Mothers head the household, and adult children are expected to live with them. Marriage is considered impractical and unnatural.
Namu was born in the 1960s to a woman who, in an act of rebellion, started her own house. Growing up, Namu displayed a similar independent streak. When she was discovered by Chinese officials looking for talented singers of ethnic songs, there was no stopping her from engaging with the outside world.
Upon admittance into the prestigious Shanghai Music Conservatory. Namu asked for Han Chinese (the ethnic majority) roommates. Her choice paid off in improved language skills, although she had to deal with the nastiness of a particularly prejudiced individual.
This memoir vividly conveys the bitter cold of mountain nights and strained relationships, along with the warmth of hearth, hospitality, and deep understanding. A fascinating glimpse at a unique culture and the melding of two worlds in a journey to adulthood.
Sheila Shoup, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
The committee chose this particular memoir for a number of reasons:
First of all, we appreciated Namu's unique perspective as a Moso woman and believe her experiences will both reflect the challenges of our first-year students (moving to a new environment, adjusting to new experiences, etc.) as well as encourage them to consider an alternate world view.
Moreover, Namu's narrative engages in subject areas from all around campus. While the Music department is sure to take interest in her study at the Shanghai Music Conservatory, departments such as Art and Theatre might take a look at Moso- and/or Han paintings and plays, respectively.
The book also engages such departments as Earth Sciences, History/Government, English, Sociology, Psychology, Religion, Economics, Communications, and many others
We are requesting proposals for sessions related to the common reading experience book. Proposals must be received by May 1st to be considered for the Fall semester. Please send them to Katherine Gubbels: email@example.com
Proposals should include elements that reflect themes, issues, places, cultures, etc. from the book.
In the past, faculty and staff at Adams State have successfully hosted many Common Reading Experience events. Some of the previously successful programming includes the Faculty Lecture Series, Interactive Demonstrations, Lunchtime Talks in Science and Mathematics, Off-Campus Trips, Panel Presentations, Special Topics Courses, Tours, and Volunteer or Service Learning Projects.
All programs should be 30 minutes in length, minimum.