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UChicago Library Diverse Books & Open Conversations

UChicago Library Diverse Books and Open Conversations

The University of Chicago Library's Diverse Books & Open Conversations strives to enhance campus climate and build community through a shared experience, bringing together undergraduate students, graduate/professional students, faculty, staff, alumni and local community members to read the same book and engage in dialogue. We aim for this reading group to foster engagement in critical conversations around diversity and inclusion.

Open to all, we collectively select a book to read and meet to discuss the reading in the Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters. Meetings are held either virtually or in-person, depending on current public health guidelines and University policies.

Vote for our next book!

Please vote on our Winter Quarter reading selection and join us in the discussions that follow. The deadline to vote is Friday, November 18, 2022. The four books to choose between deal with a variety of topics related to underrepresented groups, racism, and cultural assimilation. The books:


Disability Visibility: first-person stories from the twenty-first century edited by Alice Wong, One in five people in the United States lives with a disability. DisabilityVisibility100x154.pngSome disabilities are visible, others less apparent—but all are underrepresented in media and popular culture. Activist Alice Wong brings together this urgent, galvanizing collection of contemporary essays by disabled people, just in time for the thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Legendary Children: The First Decade of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Last Century of Queer Life by Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez centers itseLegendaryChildren100x153.pnglf around the idea that not only is RuPaul’s Drag Race the queerest show in the history of television, but that RuPaul and company devised a show that serves as an actual museum of queer cultural and social history, drawing on queer traditions and the work of legendary figures going back nearly a century. In doing so, Drag Race became not only a repository of queer history and culture, but also an examination and illustration of queer life in the modern age. It is a snapshot of how LGBTQ folks live, struggle, work, and reach out to one another–and how they always have–and every bit of it is tied directly to Drag Race.


The Loneliest Americans by Jay Caspian Kang, is the unforgettable story of Kang and his family as they move from a housing project in Cambridge to The Lonliest Americans book coveran idyllic college town in the South and eventually to the West Coast. Their story unfolds against the backdrop of a rapidly expanding Asian America, as millions more immigrants, many of them working-class or undocumented, stream into the country. At the same time, upwardly mobile urban professionals have struggled to reconcile their parents’ assimilationist goals with membership in a multicultural elite—all while trying to carve out a new kind of belonging for their own children, who are neither white nor truly “people of color.”


Your House Will Pay: a novel by Steph Cha, is a powerful and taut novel about racial tensions in LA, following two families—one Your House Will Pay book coverKorean-American, one African-American—grappling with the effects of a decades-old crime. In the wake of the police shooting of a black teenager, Los Angeles is as tense as it’s been since the unrest of the early 1990s. Protests and vigils are being staged all over the city. It’s in this dangerous tinderbox that two families must finally confront their pasts.

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