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What Is Preface?    

Preface is a first-year reading program that introduces students to the joy of academic inquiry. As such, it combines guided reading of a selected text with co-curricular events in which students discuss questions raised by the text with university, community and national experts. During this program, first-year students read the Preface text in English 101 and most University 101 courses and attend related events in both English 101 and 102.  

While Preface is geared primarily toward first-year students, it offers a calendar of events that are relevant to a wide range of university courses as well as the community. Therefore the events are planned in close cooperation with various departments and offices of USC Upstate and most events are free and open to the public. This fall, first-year writing students will read Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.  

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7, 057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow. This improbable story of Christopher's quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual and widely heralded novels in recent years.

About the Author

Mark Haddon is a writer and illustrator of numerous children's books and television screen-plays. As a young man, Haddon worked with autistic individuals. He teaches creative writing for the Arvon Foundation and lives in Oxford, England.

Preface Goals

The intent of this series of programs is to help USC Upstate first-year students make connections to each other and to the University, to practice skills that contribute to success in college, and to discuss how a deeper understanding of a shared reading can inform the way we make personal decisions and influence public policy today.

For more information about previous Preface Program readings and events, see the Preface Program Archive.


Dr. Peter Caster
Department Chair

Dr. Monika Shehi
Preface Coordinator

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