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First Readings is Brown's summer reading project for all new students. Now in its fourth year, the program provides first-year and transfer students with a common reading experience that introduces them to the University and to the pleasures and rigors of undergraduate academic life. The program is sponsored by the Dean of the College and Alumni Relations.

Students receive their first reading over the summer and write letters to their advisors on an aspect of it that they find particularly compelling, difficult, or curious. In this way, they begin a dialogue with their first-year advisors about their academic interests and their expectations for life at Brown. During Orientation, students meet in small groups for a First Readings Seminar, led by a member of the faculty or an upper-level administrator. These seminars afford students the chance to meet their peers and to begin conversations based upon their shared readings.

Learn more about the program in a letter from Dean Katherine Bergeron.

Submit your letter to the Dean of the College.

The Book

Cover, The Dew BreakerThis year's first reading is The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat. The Dew Breaker is the winner of The Story Prize, a PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist, and a Washington Post Book World Notable Book. The San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, and Detroit Free Press honored it as Best Book of the Year, and it was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction.

The Author

Edwidge Danticat, MFA '93

Jonathan Weiner

Did you enjoy The Dew Breaker? Do you want to see what other books Danticat has written? Click here to view other books by Danticat that are part of the Brown University library collection. To read what Danticat has to say about The Dew Breaker, click here.