2013 The Sparrow (Mary Doria Russell)
The Sparrow is a morally, ethically, and emotionally challenging text. It was selected as the 2013 Honors Read to provoke critical thinking, relate to current times and the Honors curriculum, be accessible to a variety of majors, and challenge and broaden the readers’ perception.
Jordan LaBouff, CLAS-Honors preceptor of Psychology, explains his reasons for nominating The Sparrow:
I think The Sparrow lends itself particularly well to the Honors read because while being entertaining (as a science fiction story) albeit rather dark, it lends itself to such a diversity of approaches and topics. The story encourages consideration of everything from the history of the Jesuits and their encounters with new civilizations, the difficulty and universality of language construction and translation, the nature of culture and the intrinsic dangers in the interactions of cultures, class systems, the ethics of interspecies interactions, the beauty of knowledge, and dozens of other “big important questions.”