Freshman Reading Program
The Department of English & Philosophy and the College of Arts and Sciences are pleased to announce that Lise Funderburg’s Pig Candy: Taking my Father South, Taking my Father Home
, is the ninth annual Freshman Reading selection. All incoming freshmen are asked to read the book prior to the start of the fall term and be prepared to discuss it in their English 101 classes.
Pig Candy is a memoir about an ailing father’s final trip from Philadelphia to his hometown in Georgia. As Funderburg says on her web site, “essentially, it’s a book about life, death, and barbecue.” This year’s “One Book, One Philadelphia” author Edwidge Danticat describes Pig Candy as “a candid and moving memoir of a daughter’s deep love for her father both when he is most difficult to love and impossible not to.”
Funderburg’s many publications include the highly regarded book, Black, White, Other: Biracial Americans Talk About Race and Identity, as well as scores of articles in publications including The New York Times, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Salon, The Nation, and Prevention. Funderburg won a 2003 Nonfiction Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and she teaches creative writing at various universities. In addition, she is a regular contributor to O, The Oprah Magazine and has written a book about the Broadway musical The Color Purple.
In tandem with the reading of the book, the College of Arts and Sciences sponsors a writing contest as well as a visit by the author. This year, Funderburg will be on campus Oct 23rd and 24th, 2012, for lectures, a book signing, and other activities. Contest winners and runners up will be invited to participate in a master class—a dozen or so of the best Drexel freshmen will meet and work with Funderburg in a close, face-to-face context.
Learn more about Lise Funderburg »
The book will be available for purchase from the Drexel Bookstore during orientation.
Writing prompt from Lise Funderburg:
As much as I adore fiction as a reader, as a writer I'm drawn to the very particular challenges of nonfiction, which is to say, writing about the real world. It's not easy to turn cold, hard facts or the seemingly ordinary bits of life into rich, elegant and engaging stories. But when it's done and done well, it not only makes a huge impact on readers, but it also makes for a transformative creative experience for the writer. How do we do this? By writing about something that captivates us, first of all, and then employing all the tools from the literary toolbox (including scene-setting, plot, dialogue, description, narrative tension, and character).
The City of Philadelphia —your city for the next few years—has a rich history and an ever-evolving personality, a tiny fragment of which I sought to capture in Pig Candy. Prospective workshop participants are asked to wander around Philadelphia (on foot or virtually) to find a topic that captivates them (this could be anything from the birds in 30th Street station to the architecture of Powelton Village to the cook in a favorite food truck). Write a short prose piece about it (maximum 5-7 pages double-spaced, title optional). If it's helpful, think of the piece as an essay or feature article or memoir.
If you would like to participate in the contest, please send your entry as a Word or RTF attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. Winners will be notified in the second week of October.
Deadline to submit: October 12, 2012