CRP author will visit campus, Holland

man being interviewed
Anand Giridharadas will discuss his book, "The True American," in the Kirkhof Center on March 23 and in Holland on March 22.
Image Credit: courtesy of MSNBC

The author of the Community Reading Project selection will give presentations in Holland and on campus in late March.

Journalist Anand Giridharadas will discuss The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas March 22 at the Herrick District Library in Holland and March 23 at the Kirkhof Center. Each event is free and open to the public, details are below. Book signings will be held at each location.

• March 22, 7-9 p.m., Herrick District Library, 300 S. River Ave. in Holland. 

• March 23, 7-9 p.m., Kirkhof Center, Grand River Room, doors open at 6 p.m.

The book is the true story of Raisuddin Bhuiyan, a Bangladesh Air Force officer who dreams of immigrating to America and working in technology. After September 11, Bhuiyan is shot and nearly killed in Dallas by Mark Stroman, an avowed "American terrorist." Stroman is arrested and placed on death row in Texas.

Jennifer Jameslyn, director of Integrative Learning and Advising and coordinator of the CRP committee, said the book is very relevant as it delves into immigration, white nationalism and Islamophobia.

Justin Pettibone, affiliate faculty of liberal studies, used The True American in his LIB 100 and 201 classes. He said the material connects easily with discussions of ethical reasoning.

"We have been using the book as a way to gain insight into what makes an action right/wrong," Pettibone said. "To do this we'll be discussing issues related to empathy, respect for difference, and responding rationally to situations we face, as practices of ethical thinking."

Giridharadas is a New York Times columnist who appears regularly on CNN, MSNBC and NPR. More information about his visits or The True American is online at

The CRP, established in 2008, is sponsored by Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies, University Libraries, Herrick District Library and the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.