Auburn University selects Strauss memoir ‘Half a Life’ as 2015-16 Common Book

Published: September 08, 2015
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Author to give book talks Sept. 16 and 17.

Auburn University has selected "Half a Life," a memoir by Darin Strauss, for its 2015-16 Auburn Connects! Common Book Program.

At the age of 36, Strauss wrote a memoir detailing the aftermath of the traffic accident near his Long Island home in 1988 when a high school classmate on a bicycle swerved in front of his car and was killed. The accident, which was officially deemed no-fault, happened shortly before Strauss was to leave for college and, as he writes in the opening line of his memoir, "half my life ago."

Strauss will give a book talk Sept. 17 in a keynote at 7 p.m. in the Foy auditorium on Auburn's campus and will also speak Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. at Auburn High School, 405 S. Dean Road. Each event will include a question-and-answer session and a book signing following the author's presentation. Books will be available for purchase. The Auburn-Opelika community is invited to attend either of these free public events as part of the Auburn Connects! Common Book Program.

Strauss is a 2006 recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship for fiction writing. His memoir earned the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography, was chosen as a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice and was a winner of the American Library Association's Alex Award.

This year, the Common Book program is working with the Auburn University Office of Sustainability, Auburn University Department of Public Safety and Security, the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the Active Minds student organization to bring a variety of events and programming to campus which involve the various themes presented throughout the book including bike and traveler safety and suicide and mental health.

The Auburn Connects! Common Book Program is an initiative of the Office of Undergraduate Studies. By creating a shared reading experience for students, faculty, staff and the wider Auburn community, the program seeks to provide insight into the human condition while developing lifelong habits of intellectual curiosity and engagement.

For more information about Auburn Connects! Common Book Program and the new selection, go to