First Year Experience Common Read

We are pleased to announce that the AY 2022-2023 Maine College of Art & Design First-Year Experience Common Read is the graphic-novel The Best We Could Do by author and illustrator Thi Bui. Additional information about the book, events, and programming opportunities will soon be announced.

FYE Common Read Book

This year, the MECA&D community will read The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui and reflect on the meaning of gratitude in the context of fresh beginnings.

“This poignant coming-of-age graphic novel, both written and illustrated by Bui, addresses issues of identity, decolonization, race, and the meaning of home through the eyes of a young artist and her family,” the President Laura Freid and Dean of Undergraduate Studies Paul Gebhardt explain in a joint letter that incoming students will receive with a copy of their book. 

While the entire MECA&D community is encouraged to participate in the FYE Common Read, we have assigned The Best We Could Do to all first-year students to explore during the summer. Incoming students are also asked to engage with the work in creative formats that they share in an exhibition during orientation.
Copies of the book are available in the library.

In addition to courses touching on themes from the book during the upcoming semester, corresponding events are planned to expand the dialogue around art, representation, and displacement to the broader MECA&D community. We hope you will join us as we explore the theme of gratitude together.

Thank you to everyone who nominated titles, as well as those who volunteered their time to review the book and provide feedback. We especially would like to thank Aressa Goodrich ’23 created the design for the 2022 Common Read packet sent to incoming students.