Hampton-Va — Hampton University’s Department of English has selected Jeff Hobbs’ novel “The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left for the Ivy League,” as the 2015 Annual Read-In book. The Read-In will take place Wed., March 25 and Thurs., March 26.
The Read-In’s Opening Session on March 25 at 6 p.m. in Ogden Hall will feature author Hobbs reading from, discussing, and entertaining questions about his New York Timesbest-selling author work.
The event will continue the next day with panel discussions, a Town Hall Meeting, and closing reception in Ogden Hall from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The creative non-fiction novel is heart-felt and a riveting biography of the short life of a talented young African-American man in the 1980s who escapes the slums of Newark for Yale University only to succumb to the dangers of the streets—and of one’s own nature—when he returns home. Readers will learn that the main character was in fact the author’s college roommate and best friend.
“We chose this book for its timely content about the struggles of young African-American men who are brilliant, but still accosted by, and often unable to let go of social and cultural impediments,” said Shonda Buchanan, assistant professor and the interim chair for HU Department of English & Modern Foreign Languages.
Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau describes the novel as “a story about America, its cities and their challenges, education’s access and entitlement, identity and the forces that shape it, and the continuing national psychosis of race – unveiled in all their complicated gray areas through this intimate portrait of a singular individual. [The main character] was a Yale graduate, and he was a drug dealer. He was also a teacher, a coach, a scientist, a traveler, a friend, and above all a son. The rises and falls of his journey force us out of our bubbles to take an honest look at our failures – both individual and systemic.”
The Read-In events are free and open to the public.
For more information, feel free to contact the Department of English at 757.727.5241 or visit http://libarts.hamptonu.edu/english/read-in.cfm.