Author of this year’s Big Read visits St George’s
Published: 19 November 2019
Big Read author, Rachel Joyce with Associate Dean of student experience, Marcus Jackson and Kingston University Professor, Alison Baverstock.
Author Rachel Joyce visited St George’s to talk with students and staff about her novel, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry the book selected for the 2019 Big Read
The book was chosen by a panel of both staff and students at Kingston University who coordinate the Big Read project which is being piloted at St George’s this year. The book explores grief, journeys, relationships and the nature of the human connection.
Recognising the value of the initiative to new students, Rachel shared some insight from when she first began university.
“It’s a brilliant idea to me, partly because when I went to university I remember going and just not having a clue how I was going to connect with anybody. I think if I had had a book it would have been so much easier because you instantly have a talking point.”
Rachel also spoke candidly about what motivated her to write the book.
“I wanted to write a story about a man who walked a really long way to save somebody who was dying of cancer,” she said. “The back story of that is that it came about at a time when I learned that my dad, who had cancer for four years, was told that he didn’t have very long left.”
Speaking about introducing the initiative to St George’s, Associate Dean for Student Experience, Dr Marcus Jackson, said, “The Big Read is an initiative that has been warmly received at other Higher Education Institutions both in the UK and the US. It is our hope that it will help students settle at St George’s in what is a very important point in their lives. Anecdotal feedback suggests that it has been well received.”