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University’s RoeReads project aims to create 3,000-strong student book club

Students at the University of Roehampton will be offered a free copy of the novel Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman during Freshers’ Week this week, thanks to a partnership with The Booker Prize Foundation.

Posted: 15 September 2015

image for news story University’s RoeReads project aims to create 3,000-strong student book club
University Librarian Susan Scorey and students' union Vice President of Welfare Marie Johansen will be giving out copies of Pigeon English.

Roehampton is the only modern university in London working with the foundation to encourage reading in this way. Students will be offered one of 3,000 copies of the book to read and discuss with friends and lecturers in a project called #RoeReads.

Mr Kelman will visit the University in November to take part in an ‘in conversation with’ event and workshops with students in November.

The intention is to create a University-wide conversation about a single work of literature, encouraging analysis and discussion by students studying everything from Dance to Biological Science.

Pigeon English is the story of an 11-year-old Ghanaian boy called Harrison living in London with his family whose life is changed forever when his friend is murdered. It was shortlisted for the 2011 Booker Prize and was inspired in part by the murder of Damilola Taylor in 2000.

Roehampton Students’ Union will hold a series of reading events where readers can share their views on the book. As well as talking about the book together, readers can post opinions on social media using the #RoeReads hashtag.

Susan Scorey, the University’s Librarian, said: “We want our students to meet and share ideas, and to appreciate and engage with contemporary fiction. This partnership with The Booker Prize Foundation will create a 3,000 strong book club here on campus which will really help create a community spirit among our new students, as well as encouraging non-arts students to enjoy literature. Staff will also be contributing and sharing the benefit of years of experience analysing authors, which will make the discussions even more interesting.”

Copies of Pigeon English will be available this week during Registration in Queen’s Building, Southlands College. After that, copies will be available in Roehampton Students’ Union, Froebel College; The Hive Café, and the University Library, Digby Stuart College; College receptions and catering outlets across the University including Whitelands College.

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