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Queen’s Reads takes on The Break

The Queen’s community is invited to join the university’s common reading program this coming academic year, and engage in discussions, events and activities that build community and explore themes of identity, diversity, Indigenous culture, sexual violence and resilience.

[Katherena Vermette, The Break]
The Break by Katherena Vermette is this year's featured novel for Queen's Reads, the university’s common reading program.

The 2017-18 Queen’s Reads book is The Break by Winnipeg author Katherena Vermette. Finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, shortlisted for CBC’s Canada Reads 2017, and recipient of the 2017 Amazon First Novel award, this bestseller is an important new work of Canadian literature that tells an intergenerational story of a Metis family as they navigate the effects of trauma.

“The Queen’s Reads program aims to create meaningful discussions on campus, encourage critical thinking, and promote a sense of community,” says Kevin Collins, Coordinator, Student Development, Student Experience Office. “We want to use the powerful story of The Break to talk about themes in the book, as part of ongoing conversations on campus about our own identity, and our relationships with each other, and with our community.”

Starting in September, students will be able to pick up a special free copy of the book at locations around campus, including the Student Experience Office and the Alma Mater Society (AMS) office in the John Deutsch University Centre, Stauffer Library and the Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre. All interested students, undergraduate and graduate/professional are invited to participate, along with faculty and staff.

“You don’t have to have read the book to participate in Queen’s Reads, but that will certainly enhance your connection with the program,” says Carolyn Thompson, Queen’s Reads Student Coordinator. “The events we are planning will give students a unique way of exploring and reflecting on the important issues highlighted in The Break and new avenues through which they can engage in the ongoing dialogue that we are having here at Queen’s.

“We’ve been having important conversations at Queen’s around diversity and inclusion and sexual violence. I hope the themes in The Break give students another avenue to share with each other in this dialogue.”

Programming will include events, discussion groups, a writing/media contest and a visit from the author. More information about the activities will be posted later this summer on the Queen’s Reads webpage.