Summer Reading

Chitra Divakaruni One Amazing Thing by Chitra Divakaruni has been selected for Clemson’s 2016 Freshman Summer Reading Program!

In One Amazing Thing, nine people from different backgrounds are trapped together by an earthquake for days, using storytelling to help them survive while they hope and pray for rescue. Their stories of romance, marriage, family, political upheaval, and self-discovery unfold against the urgency of their life-or-death circumstance.

"Ingeniously conceived and intelligently written, this novel is a fable for our time. The characters, troubled or shattered by their past, vibrate with life whenever they begin to speak. The book is a fun read from the first page to the last."
—Ha Jin, National Book Award-winning author of Waiting

One Amazing Thing teachable topics and themes:

  • Bridging cultural and ethnic diversity through storytelling
  • The common humanity we all share despite ethnic, religious, and language differences
  • Prejudice, cultural misunderstanding, alienation, and interpersonal communication
  • Mental health, addiction, depression, and suicide
  • Violence, forgiveness, and redemption
  • Planning for the future and coping with overcoming life’s obstacles

All incoming Clemson freshmen are required to participate in the Summer Reading Program as part of the Clemson Connect Experience. Students will receive a complimentary copy of One Amazing Thing when they come to Summer Orientation. As a part of Clemson Connect, Chitra Divakaruni will address the entire freshman class during Freshman Convocation on August 15th, 2016. Immediately following Ms. Divakaruni’s address, students will discuss their thoughts and reactions in small groups across campus, led by Clemson faculty and staff.

Anyone with questions about the Freshman Summer Reading program should contact Amber Mulkey at