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“My Name is Alisa”: Reflections on Steven Galloway’s The Cellist of Sarajevo

Our Opening Convocation at Carroll University this year will feature a presentation by Steven Galloway, author of the novel The Cellist of Sarajevo.  All incoming freshmen were given a copy of the book this summer and extended a “challenge” to submit an original piece of writing (e.g. a speech, essay or poem) that engages both The Cellist of Sarajevo and the campus-wide “humanity” theme.

Being an incoming student at heart (every year), I dutifully read the book and curated some background information in the form of two editions. Here are links to the August 13 edition  and August 18 edition. Here is the cellist performing. Here is a story about “Arrow.” I would also recommend reading The Book of My Lives by Alekzandar Hemon.

I very much look forward to hearing the author in person. Though I am not involved in freshmen seminars, I can easily see drawing upon this material in my Introductory Psychology class which has predominantly freshmen in it. Putting the book down, I was reminded of the course I once taught “Why War?” of this song.

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