Twenty-three years ago, Georgetown University conceived the idea of engaging new students in the thoughtful reading of a text by a major international author. During the summer prior to their matriculation into the academic life of Georgetown, the University asks first-year students to read the selected text and complete a reflection assignment. At the beginning of the fall semester, the author of the selected text comes to campus to discuss the novel and the life of writing with all incoming freshmen. Immediately following the author's conversation with the new Hoyas, more than seventy faculty and staff members meet with the students in small discussion groups and together embark on a thematic and stylistic analysis of the novel.
This year's Workshop features author Esi Edugyan and her novel, Washington Black. Edugyan's book, Washington Black, follows the story of George Washington "Wash" Black as he escapes from slavery in the 1830s with the help of an abolitionist and inventor known as Titch. Washington Black was named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Slate, TIME and Entertainment and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.
The Workshop is sponsored by Frederick Marino (SLL '68) and his family in honor of his father, Joseph Marino. It is jointly run by the University Library and the Office of the Provost.