Duke Reads

Discover your next read, connect with fellow Blue Devil book enthusiasts, stay in the know about Duke faculty and alumni publications, or enjoy our playlist of author interviews. Duke Reads is your one-stop shop for alumni book lovers, events, and resources.

Women's Weekend 2023 Book Fair

Duke Women's Weekend 2023 will feature many amazing Duke alumnae authors! Take a sneak peek at some of the authors and books who will be at the Alumnae Authors Book Fair and Signing, and don't forget to register today for the event.

Book Events

icon of book with blue pages open Join alumni, and the Duke community, for engaging books and discussions.

Author Interviews

youtube channel Hear from Blue Devil authors as they share writing influences, introduce their work, and provide insights into your next new read. 

Common Reading Experience

blue globeParticipate in thought-provoking reads designed to introduce incoming freshmen to Duke’s academic climate and encourage intellectual dialogue. This year’s theme, “Engage with Justice” offers a film, book, and podcast selection.

Biography

Eileen Cheng-yin Chow and Carlos Rojas teach modern Chinese cultural studies at Duke, in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. Eileen is the Director of Graduate Studies of Duke’s Master’s Program in East Asian Studies, and Carlos is the founding co-director of the Humanities Research Center at DKU. In addition to translating Yu Hua’s Brothers, their other co-productions include two co-edited volumes (Rethinking Chinese Popular Culture: Cannibalizations of the Canon and The Oxford Handbook of Modern Chinese Cinemas); they are also co-editors of the ongoing Sinotheory book series for Duke University Press; and in 2015, they co-founded Story Lab at Duke. They also share three kids, ages 23, 17, and 12.


Every summer, fifteen-year-old Miriam Horton and her family pack themselves tight in their old minivan and travel through small southern towns for revival season: the time when Miriam’s father—one of the South’s most famous preachers—holds massive healing services for people desperate to be cured of ailments and disease. But, this summer, the revival season doesn’t go as planned, and after one service in which Reverend Horton’s healing powers are tested like never before, Miriam witnesses a shocking act of violence that shakes her belief in her father—and her faith.

When the Hortons return home, Miriam’s confusion only grows as she discovers she might have the power to heal—even though her father and the church have always made it clear that such power is denied to women. Over the course of the following year, Miriam must decide between her faith, her family, and her newfound power that might be able to save others, but if discovered by her father, could destroy Miriam.

Biography

Monica West is the author of Revival Season, which was a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice, a Barnes and Noble Discover selection, and was short listed for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award.  She received her B.A. from Duke University, her M.A. from New York University, and her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop where she was a Rona Jaffe Graduate Fellow. She has received fellowships and awards from Hedgebrook, Kimbilio Fiction, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She teaches in the MFA in Writing program at the University of San Francisco.


The Gaza Kitchen is a richly illustrated cookbook that explores the distinctive cuisine of the area known prior to 1948 as the Gaza District—and that of the many refugees who came to Gaza in 1948 and have been forced to stay there ever since. In summer 2010, Laila El-Haddad and Maggie Schmitt traveled throughout the Gaza Strip to collect the recipes and shoot the stunning photographs presented in the book.

The Gaza Kitchen's 130 recipes codify this little-known part of the Middle Eastern culinary canon for the first time ever-- in any language. But this is not just a cookbook. In its pages, women and men from Gaza tell their stories as they relate to cooking, farming, and the food economy: personal stories, family stories, and descriptions of the broader social and economic system in which they live.

Biography

Laila El-Haddad is a Palestinian-American journalist, author, and policy consultant. She frequently lectures on and writes about the situation in Gaza and the intersection of food and politics and more broadly on the issue of Palestine.  She is the co-author of the critically acclaimed book The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey, and has has been published extensively.  Through her work as a writer and documentarian she provides much-needed insight into the human experience of the region.  In 2014, she featured in the CNN program Parts Unknown with celebrity chef and gastronome Anthony Bourdain as his guide in the Gaza Strip.   From 2003-2007, El-Haddad was the Gaza correspondent for the Al Jazeera English website and co-directed two documentaries, including the award-winning Tunnel Trade.  A graduate of Duke University and the Harvard Kennedy School, she currently lives in Clarksville, Maryland with her husband, their four children and their 5 chickens.


Spanning more than half a century and cities from New Delhi to Atlanta, Anjali Enjeti’s debut is a heartfelt and human portrait of the long shadow of the Partition of India on the lives of three generations of women.

The story begins in August 1947. Unrest plagues the streets of New Delhi leading up to the birth of the Muslim majority nation of Pakistan, and the Hindu majority nation of India. Sixteen-year-old Deepa navigates the changing politics of her home, finding solace in messages of intricate origami from her secret boyfriend Amir. Soon Amir flees with his family to Pakistan and a tragedy forces Deepa to leave the subcontinent forever.

The story also begins sixty years later and half a world away, in Atlanta. While grieving both a pregnancy loss and the implosion of her marriage, Deepa’s granddaughter Shan begins the search for her estranged grandmother, a prickly woman who had little interest in knowing her. As she pieces together her family history shattered by the Partition, Shan discovers how little she actually knows about the women in her family and what they endured.

For readers of Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins, The Parted Earth follows Shan on her search for identity after loss uproots her life. Above all, it is a novel about families weathering the lasting violence of separation, and how it can often take a lifetime to find unity and peace.

Biography

Anjali Enjeti is a journalist, organizer, and former attorney. She is the author of Southbound: Essays on Identity, Inheritance, and Activism and The Parted Earth. Her other writing has appeared in Harper's Bazaar, Boston Globe, Oxford American, and elsewhere. She teaches in the MFA programs at Antioch and Reinhardt Universities and lives with her family near Atlanta.