Research Guides

One Book, One U 2020

Brother I'm Dying by Edwidge Danticat
Brother, I'm Dying by Edwidge Danticat
This year's One Book, One U selection is Brother, I'm Dying by Edwidge Danticat.
One Book, One U Common Reading Program
The One Book, One U program selects a book for each Spring semester to provide a shared educational experience in our university community.  Find information on upcoming events as well as research resources, dicussion guides, and more!
Selection of books by Edwidge Danticat

Please check back frequently, as this list is continually being updated!  Have an event that you would like included on this list?  Please email to be added!
Primary Source Resources
Interview with Edwidge Danticat
Discussion questions
Using the Chapter Summaries document, select a chapter that relates to your class or group and host a discussion session.  Use some of the questions below, adapted from the American Library Association Book Discussion Group online guide.
  • What does Edwidge Danticat celebrate or criticize in the culture? Consider family traditions, economic and political structures, the arts, language, food, religious beliefs.
  • Does she wish to preserve or reform the culture? If reform, what and how? Either way—by instigating change or by maintaining the status quo—what would be gained or what would be at risk?
  • How does the culture differ from yours? What was most surprising, intriguing, difficult to understand? After reading the book, have you gained a new perspective—or did the book affirm your prior views?
  • Does the book offer a central idea or premise? What are the problems or issues raised? Are they personal, spiritual, societal, global, political, economic, medical, scentific?
  • Do the issues affect your life? How so—directly, on a daily basis, or more generally? Now or sometime in the future?
  • What kind of language does Ms. Danticat use? Is it objective and dispassionate? Or passionate and earnest? Is it polemical, inflammatory, sarcastic? Does the language help or undercut the author's premise?
  • Does Ms. Danticat—or can you—draw implications for the future? Are there long- or short-term consequences to the problems or issues raised in the book? If so, are they positive or negative? Affirming or frightening?
  • Does Ms. Danticat—or can you—offer solutions to the problems or issues raised in the book? Who would implement those solutions? How probable is success?
  • Does Ms. Danticat make a call to action to readers—individually or collectively? Is that call realistic? Idealistic?Achievable? Would readers be able to affect the desired outcome?
  • Are the book's issues controversial? How so? And who is aligned on which sides of the issues? Where do you fall in that line-up?
  • Can you point to specific passages that struck you personally?  Why did that particular passage leave an impression on you?
  • Did you learn something new reading this book? Did it broaden your perspective about a difficult personal issue? Or a societal issue?

(Find more questions and guidelines on ALA's Book Discussion Guide.)
UM Instructional Designers
Want more ideas and activities?  Reach out to the Learning Innovation & Faculty Engagement team at Academic Technologies!  Contact them at  Find more information on the Academic Technologies website.
Community Resources

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