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Common Book Otterbein University

The Common Book guide showcases past Common Books and their resources, the current Common Book and the guidelines and lists for future Common Books.

The Underground Railroad: A Novel

Historical Context for the Book

The Inspiration for the Novel

How Writing About Race in the Past Evokes the Present

Oprah Interview

The Common Book Assignment for 2018

Author photo of Colson Whitehead


Colson Whitehead is the New York Times bestselling author of The Noble Hustle, Zone One, Sag Harbor, The Intuitionist, John Henry Days, Apex Hides the Hurt, and one collection of essays, The Colossus of New York. A Pulitzer Prize finalist and a recipient of MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships, he lives in New York City.

Campus Visit

The Campus Visit will be on October 23 - 24, 2018. These visits generally include numerous opportunities for the students to interact and hear from the author. Depending on the author and their contract, an evening event is sometimes held that is open to the public. More details on the particular visit will be available in the coming months.

Books that Inspired the Writing of The Underground Railroad

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