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#Lang30: 10 Books To Read Before You’re 30

Every Thursday, New_S presents a new story celebrating the 30th anniversary of Eugene Lang College. Are you a Lang graduate with a story to share? If so, please visit our website.

In celebration of Eugene Lang College’s 30th anniversary, Lang Dean and noted bookworm Stephanie Browner offers 10 books every student should read before he or she turns 30.

Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor
By Paul Farmer
Paul Farmer, a physician and anthropologist with 20 years of experience working in Haiti, Peru, and Russia, presents harrowing stories of life—and death—to interrogate our understanding of human rights.

The Hemingses of Monticello
By Annette Gordon-Reed
In this Pulitzer Prize-winning book, historian Annette Gordoen-Reed traces four generations of the Hemings, an African-American family with close blood ties to Thomas Jefferson who had been systematically expunged from American history.

By Zadie Smith
Set in gritty yet beautiful northwest London, Zadie Smith’s gripping tragicomedy follows four locals as they try to make adult lives outside of Caldwell, the housing project where they grew up.

The Plague
By Albert Camus
The Stranger may be Albert Camus’ most famous novel, but The Plague, his existentialist epic about a North African coastal town ravaged by bubonic plague, is his most devastating.

By Jose Saramago
What if, in our next election, a majority of the electorate simply didn’t vote? Jose Saramago imagines this alternate reality in a story about the struggles of a fictional government that tries to pinpoint and destroy an amorphous movement of non-voters who submit blank ballots in a parliamentary election.

On The Nature of Things
By Lucretius
In this legendary first-century didactic poem, Lucretius attempts to explain Epicurean philosophy to a Roman audience, detailing the nature of the mind and soul, sensation and thought and the development of the world.

Citizen: An American Lyric
By Claudia Rankine
Claudia Rankine’s meditation on race recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in 21st century daily life and in the media. Through these accounts, the author shows how accumulative stresses impact a person’s ability to speak, perform and stay alive.

Capital: Critique of Political Economy
By Marx
Years after writing The Communist Manifesto, Marx penned Capital, an equally important text that offers critical analysis of the economic patterns underpinning the capitalist mode of production.

Written on the Body
By Jeanette Winterson
What does it mean to leave a character’s gender unknown? Jeanette Winterson explores that question in the story of an intoxicating love affair between a nameless and genderless narrator and a married woman.

Complete Poems
By Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson’s complete oeuvre. Enough said.

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