Ogden Honors College Shared Read Announced for 2024

March 28, 2024

Book cover

Each year, the LSU Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College selects a shared reading to introduce incoming students to the academic and intellectual culture of the Ogden Honors College through a common reading experience. Students then discuss the book in HNRS 2000 — an introductory honors seminar with a focus on critical thinking. This year the committe has selected Eric Nguyen's debut novel "Things We Lost to the Water," which delves into themes of identity, family, and migration. 

Eric Nguyen, holding an MFA in Creative Writing from McNeese State University, has garnered acclaim and recognition within the literary sphere. His accolades include prestigious fellowships from Lambda Literary, Voices of Our Nation Arts (VONA), and the Tin House Writers Workshop, solidifying his standing as a rising star in the literary world.

As the editor in chief of diaCRITICS.org, Nguyen has demonstrated a commitment to amplifying diverse voices and narratives. His editorial work showcases his passion for fostering dialogue and understanding within the literary community.

"Things We Lost to the Water" is a luminous and profoundly moving tale that follows the lives of a Vietnamese refugee family as they navigate the challenges of building a new life in America. Set against the backdrop of New Orleans, the novel intricately weaves together the threads of memory, loss, and resilience. Through richly drawn characters and lyrical prose, Nguyen invites readers on a journey of self-discovery and redemption.

Reflecting on his debut novel, Eric Nguyen remarked, "I wanted to explore the intricate layers of identity and belonging, particularly within the context of the immigrant experience. 'Things We Lost to the Water' serves as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the enduring power of familial bonds."

We encourage current Honors students, faculty, and staff to participate in this shared learning experience. Incoming Honors students are required to read "Things We Lost to the Water" by Monday, August 26.

Our academic year commences in the fall with Honors Convocation, featuring an address by the author of the Shared Read text. The date and time of this year's convocation will be announced at a later date.