AC prepares for author visit

By MATTHEW RIVERS, Ranger Reporter:

The Amarillo College community is gearing up for a visit by the 2016 Common Reader author.

Jamie Ford, the author of the novel “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet”, will give two free presentations on the Washington Street Campus Tuesday, Oct. 11. The first presentation will be a brief reading and a question and answer session at 11 a.m. in Badger Den, followed by a lecture at 7 p.m. in Ordway Auditorium.

Common Reader Coordinator Courtney Milleson described the book as a historical piece, “set between two timelines, the 1940s and 1980s. The central character, Henry, is a little boy in the 1940s and a grown up man in the 1980s. Henry in the 1940s is smack dab in the middle of World War II, and the Japanese have just attacked Pearl Harbor.”

Students and staff members have expressed positive opinions about the book’s message. “The big theme of the book is racial inequality, social injustice and how we as a culture react,” said Milleson. “This book gives us a safe place to talk about those things and disagree about how we should have handled it.”

“I think it really brings to life racist issues that are going on these days,” said Robbie McKown, a biochemistry major.

“I thought it was a good book. It talks about the Japanese internment. Not many people knew of that,” said Frankie Martinez, a business administration major, noting that students will be awakened to learn “everyone has their struggles.”

Many AC professors are using the novel as an educational tool in their classes. “My students in my classes are reading the text, and I have several who have already finished it because they’re like, ‘I couldn’t put it down!’ When we began to look at and use it as a tool in the classroom, students really began to dig in and get more out of it, so when they have the opportunity to meet the author they really kind of come into their own,” Milleson said.

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