David Finkel's "Thank You for Your Service" is the 2014 First Year Common Reader at UD.

First Year Common Reader

David Finkel's 'Thank You for Your Service' selected as 2014 First Year Reader

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1:17 p.m., May 9, 2014--Thank You for Your Service, a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist David Finkel, has been named as the selection for the University of Delaware’s 2014 First Year Common Reader program

Through the program, selected works are read by UD freshmen before arriving on campus for the fall semester in conjunction with other events.

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Finkel’s latest book, published by Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, brings to light the challenges faced by American soldiers and their families in the aftermath of war.

Thank You for Your Service received the Carla Cohen Literary Prize for non-fiction and was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award in non-fiction.

In his previous book, For the Good Soldiers, Finkel drew on his experiences as an embedded reporter with the U.S. Army’s 16th Infantry 2nd Battalion (2-16 Infantry Battalion) during the harrowing experiences of the 2007 Iraq surge.

Thank You for Your Service covers the lives of members of 2-16 Battalion back in the United States after their deployment ended. 

“I am looking forward to campus conversation about the serious issues dealt with by Finkel in this book – about the human cost of war that extends beyond the war itself,” said Deputy Provost Nancy Brickhouse.

An editor and writer for the Washington Post, Finkel has reported from Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe and across the United States. He has covered wars in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.

A recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting in 2006, Finkel earned a 2012 MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant. 

The Good Soldiers won multiple awards and was named a New York Times top 10 book of the year. 

About the First Year Common Reader

The shared common reader is a unique opportunity for students to engage in a meaningful conversation with fellow students and to begin to share in the intellectual life of the entire UD community. The book is read before arriving on campus with speakers, films, and other cultural events, organized around the theme of the book throughout the  first semester.

Previous common readers have included My Beloved World, by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor; Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, by Katherine Boo; and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot. 

Article by Jerry Rhodes

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