NMU's Diversity Common Reader Program is a semester-long initiative focused on exposing a new cultural or ethnic idea at a campus-wide level. The program's 2018 book selection is Luis Alberto Urrea’s Nobody’s Son: Notes from an American Life. In this American Book Award winner, Urrea tells his story of growing up in San Diego as the son of a Mexican father and Anglo mother from Staten Island. The memoir describes Urrea’s childhood as a mix of opposites, a clash of cultures and languages.
Urrea endured violence and fear during his childhood, but the real battlefield was inside his home, where his parents had daily disputes over their son’s ethnicity. The book also features lighter moments, including an encounter with his father, sitting on the back of a bakery truck.
“I am nobody’s son. I am everybody’s brother," wrote Urrea. Although his experiences are unique, thousands of Americans could tell similar stories about their childhoods. Nobody’s Son describes what it means to belong to a nation that is sometimes painfully multicultural, where even the language both separates and unites.
Copies of the selected book are available free of charge. The Diversity Common Reader Program Committee invites the campus community to participate in discussions with the author or other notable speakers visiting campus, and to participate in writing and art contests reflecting the reading. For more information, contact chair Tracy Wascom at firstname.lastname@example.org.