College Novel

Celebrating our 28th Year of the College Novel!

Andy Weir’s Novel, The Martian

The College Novel for the 2020-2021 academic year is Andy Weir's The Martian. Members of the College Community are invited to read the novel and join in the activities, discussions, and lectures related to the novel. Many faculty members will use the novel in class. The goal of the college novel is to create a reading community and encourage reading for pleasure, critical thinking, global awareness, and multicultural understanding.

Workshops, colloquies, and lectures support this activity. This year, our YouTube channel will host interdisciplinary lectures and discussions.

Through the use of a College-wide Novel, we unite the Sussex community in an effort to encourage reading as life long source of pleasure and learning. Each year faculty, students, and staff select a novel that will best suit. This year is the 28th anniversary of the College Novel at Sussex County Community College!

Dr. Eleanor Carducci, retired Professor of English at Sussex, began the College Novel tradition in 1993. The current College Novel coordinator, Dr. Mary Thompson, annually asks the faculty and staff at Sussex to nominate novels and then holds a meeting for people to advocate for their nominations. At the end of the meeting, the group narrows the field to two options and a student vote determines which novel will become the College Novel for the new academic year.

Helpful Resources

“Andy Weir built a two-decade career as a software engineer until the success of his first published novel, The Martian, allowed him to live out his dream of writing full-time.  He is a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of such subjects as relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight.  He also mixes a mean cocktail.  He lives in California.”


From: Penguin Random House Authors, Andy Weir