SRU welcomes New York Times bestselling author Ross Gay to campus for Common Read, Sept. 27


Ross Gay

Ross Gay, author of the New York Times Best Seller “The Book of Delights,” will read an excerpt and sign copies of his book at Slippery Rock University’s Common Read, 7 p.m., Sept. 27, at Miller Theater in the Performing Arts Center (Photo by Natasha Komoda).

Sept. 21, 2022

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Reading assignments for first-year students at many universities can especially be onerous. But for this year's Slippery Rock University students, one reading assignment could be considered downright delightful. In addition to many SRU students reading "The Book of Delights" by a New York Times Best Seller, everyone will have a chance to meet the author, Ross Gay. Gay will read an excerpt of "The Book of Delights" and sign copies at an event called Common Read, 7 p.m., Sept. 27, at the Miller Theater in the Performing Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public.

More than 1,000 SRU students in dozens of sections of the 100-level Critical Writing class are assigned to read "The Book of Delights" this semester. Named one of the Best Books of 2019 by the Washington Independent Review of Books and Shelf Awareness, "The Book of Delights" is described by the publisher, Algonquin Books, as a "spirited collection of short lyrical essays, written daily over a tumultuous year, reminding us of the purpose and pleasure of praising, extolling, and celebrating ordinary wonders."

Ross Gay book

"The world can feel like a dark place, but this book is a great reminder of all the delightful, everyday encounters that people might take for granted," said Julie Naviaux, assistant professor of languages, literatures, cultures and writing and Common Read coordinator. "Ross Gay's book works well for this writing-focused class because of its short chapters and writing style that is informal and conversational, which makes it accessible to our students. He models a lot of the skills we teach."

Critical Writing is a general education requirement for all academic majors at the University. The book selection is determined by a faculty committee organized through the Department of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Writing. "The Book of Delights" was nominated by Patrick McGinty, assistant professor of languages, literatures, cultures and writing.

"The Common Read provides students with a shared experience they can talk about outside their classes and beyond the semester," Naviaux said. "Having the chance to meet the author in person is a great opportunity for our students to become more engaged with their reading and have a more meaningful college experience."

For more information about Common Read, contact Julie Naviaux , Patrick McGinty, or call the SRU Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Writing Department at 724.738.2043. More information about the department and the Rock Integrated Studies Program, SRU's general education requirement, are available on the SRU website.

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 |