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Freshmen to discuss novel by Balakian
(April 26, 1999)

For the second year in a row, incoming freshmen will arrive at UConn with more than just the regular mix of eagerness, nervousness and aspirations that accompany a person's entrance into university life. They will also be prepared to discuss the book, Black Dog of Fate, by Peter Balakian, as part of the Husky Weeks of Welcome.

John Bennett, director of the Academic Experience and chair of the book project, the academic component of WOW, says all the students will be given a copy of Black Dog of Fate during orientation and will read it over the summer. On August 29, the day after students move onto campus, they will meet in small groups facilitated by faculty or staff, to discuss the reading.

Black Dog of Fate is the memoir of a man searching for his heritage, who in the process discovers the terrible truth about his ancestors and the Armenian genocide. The book was chosen for its literary quality and issues for discussion within it, says Veronica Makowsky, professor of English and a member of the planning committee that chose the book.

"It is a book that has interests for many disciplines and for incoming students, as it is a memoir about growing up," says Makowsky.

Last year's book project, on Amistad by David Pesci, drew an enthusiastic response from students and faculty.

Faculty and staff volunteers are needed again this year to lead the small discussion groups. Those interested should contact Amy de Flumere by phone at (860) 486-6121, or by e-mail:

Joseph Holstead