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Author of International Bestseller, “A Long Way Home,” Visits TAMIU Friday Posted: 10/08/15

Author of International Bestseller, “A Long Way Home,” Visits TAMIU Friday


TAMIU Reading the Globe Author to Visit

 Imagine you are a child of five years of age and you’ve been lost on a train and must fend for yourself on the city’s streets.  Flash-forward through a childhood spent in another country made possible by adoption…and then imagine that through technology, you are able to reunite with your mother,  25 years later.

But this is no imaginary tale; this is the true-life story of author Saroo Brierley, as documented in his international bestseller, “A Long Way Home.”

“A Long Way Home” is the Campus Read for Texas A&M International University’s (TAMIU) “Reading the Globe” Program and its author will visit with students Friday, Oct. 16 at the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts’ Recital Hall.

Originally from India, Brierley was rescued from the rough streets of Calcutta and adopted by a couple in Australia.  Eventually, through the use of Google Earth, he was able to miraculously find his way home and be reunited with his Indian mother.

“We’re excited to be embarking on our ninth ‘Reading the Globe’ experience, which validates so much of what the University is truly about,” said Dr. Conchita Hickey, Dean of the sponsoring University College.

“Launched in 2008, the Reading the Globe program requires all First Year students to read a book focused on an international topic. This book is read and discussed as part of the UNIV 1101 freshman seminar curriculum, Learning in a Global Environment I. The Common Read Program provides the opportunity for discourse about issues relevant to students, and raises social awareness on a local and global scale.  We also share the experience with the City of Laredo as the selected book is part of its ‘One City, One Book’ program,” Dr. Hickey explained.

And students aren’t the only ones learning of Brierley’s remarkable story: TAMIU faculty and staff share the experience, fostering and strengthening the growth of an intellectual community in and around the University, and supporting students’ academic development, she noted.

“We believe this shared experience, the opportunity to become part of an optional study-travel component and to share that experience with others, helps us to underscore understanding of society and culture, one of TAMIU’s undergraduate learning principles,” Hickey said. 

After application, competitive essay and interview, a group of students is selected for a study-travel opportunity related to the setting of the Common Read utilized. This year, students will travel to India. To date, students have traveled to Poland, Ghana, Cambodia, Chile, Turkey and Bosnia.

Brierley will also present his book and experience for “One City, One Book” participants and others the next day, Saturday, Oct 17 at 10:30 a.m. at the Laredo Public Library, 1120 E. Calton Road.  The event is free and open to the public.

To learn more about TAMIU’s “Reading the Globe” Program, including student experiences in each program, visit

Information is also available by calling University College at 956.326.2134, visiting offices in the Senator Judith Zaffirini Student Success Center, Suite 223 or by emailing Dr. Hickey at