08 October 2008

Met the Author: T.C. Boyle

Every year, Champlain selects a Community Book for the campus to read and come together to discuss. The highlight to the experience is the author's visit to campus. This year we had T.C. Boyle.

I'll be blogging more about the program and his visit at Champlain on our library blog but I wanted to take a moment here to talk about how AWESOME a person "Tom" was. We've met a number of authors at Champlain but this was the first one who was genuinely interested in getting to know us, the people that brought him here, and share a bit of himself with us. What's amazing is that this is an author who is often known as a renegade. But I, and I feel comfortable speaking with my fellow committee members here, found him to be warm, funny, engaging, and just plain cool. And what's best is that our students felt the same way. They laughed at his stories. They asked him questions. They introduced themselves and talked to him about their interpretations of the book, his experience as a writer, his perspectives on the issues he delves into in his books. It takes a lot to bring authors to campus but those few hours, those few precious hours when you see a student really learning something, really experiencing something by meeting the author...it makes it so worth it. We never know what will put students onto their paths, something that Tom talked about in his lecture and reading. I hope that some student looks back on this visit as a moment that helped them realize there are a lot choices, some of them different than what they find in the box.

If you have a Community Book, whatever you call it, that brought the author to campus, I'd love to hear which authors you've had and how your students reacted to them. We are always thinking about next year's book.

However, I think T.C. will be a hard act to follow.

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