Common Reading Initiative
2018 Selection: The World's Largest Man
An internationally acclaimed novel will be the 2018-19 Common Read at Mississippi University for Women.
Recommended by a cross-campus committee of faculty and staff, The World's Largest Man is Harrison Scott Key's memoir is the story of a boy's struggle to reconcile himself with a father it took him a lifetime to understand..
From the publisher:
The World's Largest Man is both a grand comic satire on the contemporary American South and the tender story of a boy and his Bunyanesque father, told with the comic punch of David Sedaris and the wild, burlesque charm of Mark Twain. Harrison grew up in Mississippi, where, he says, "there was very little to do but shoot things or get them pregnant." Of his father, he says, "The man was perhaps better suited to living in a remote frontier wilderness of the 19th century than contemporary America, with all its progressive ideas, and paved roads, and lack of armed duels. He was a great man, who taught us many things: How to fight, how to work, how to cheat, how to pray to Jesus about it, how to kill things with guns and knives and also, if necessary, with hammers." Sly, heartfelt, and tirelessly hilarious, The World's Largest Man is an unforgettable memoir—the story of a boy's struggle to reconcile himself with a father it took him a lifetime to understand.
About the Common Reading Initiative
The Common Reading Initiative (CRI) at Mississippi University for Women draws on our rich literary heritage and builds on The W's tradition of excellence in teaching to:
- Develop intellectual community among students, staff, and faculty outside the traditional classroom,
- Foster intellectual curiosity, inquiry, and responsibility among all groups,
- Deepen understanding of issues raised in significant books, and
- Provide opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to engage socially in meaningful ways.
Book cover and art used with permission of HarperCollins.