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'Goat' is the 'Big Read' for new Coastal freshmen

May 17, 2007

"Goat: A Memoir" by Brad Land has been selected as the 2007 summer reading assignment for incoming freshmen at Coastal Carolina University.

CCU's summer reading program, called the "Big Read," is designed to encourage an intellectual dialogue between students, professors and the entire Coastal community. Incoming freshmen may participate in a series of events and activities relating to the "Big Read" book beginning with a convocation for new students on Monday, Aug. 20 at 9:30 a.m. on Prince Lawn.

"Goat," which is Land's first book, has provoked wide discussion about its portrayal of fraternity hazing at Clemson University. The memoir also explores broader issues-the culture of random violence, Land's loving but competitive relationship with his brother, and ultimately the question of how to negotiate between his individual identity and the social expectations attached to masculinity.

Published in 2004 by Random House, the book was chosen by a campus committee including faculty, staff and students. Other books considered were "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien and "Walk Across America" by Peter Jenkins.

"'Goat, which was widely reviewed and critically hailed, is a sensitive coming-of-age story that will resonate with young students trying to find their way," said Nelljean Rice, director of First Year Experience, the freshman program that incorporates the book into the academic curriculum. "It was selected for its readability and for its conflict between personal integrity and the collective will. There is plenty to talk about with this book."

Criteria considered when selecting a community book include literary worth, wide appeal, themes, issues and topics that would lend themselves to spirited discussion, relevance and timeliness.

The "Big Read" is in its fourth year. Books that have been selected in the past are "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" by Mark Haddon, "Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood" by Marjane Satrapi and "Close to Shore: The Terrifying Shark Attacks of 1916" by Michael Capuzzo.