About the DKU Intercultural Book Club


About us

Who are we?

The DKU Intercultural Book Club is a literary society at Duke Kunshan University in Jiangsu province, China. 

We are a fellowship of readers from different cultures (at this point, primarily Chinese- and English-speaking ones) dedicated to reading one another's literature and talking about it.

Every month we meet once to discuss a book. Our meetings are open to all members of the DKU community, including current and former students, faculty, and staff.

What do we read?

We read books, primarily fiction, that exist in both Chinese and English editions. (In most cases this means originally written in Chinese and translated into English, or vice versa.) Read in whichever language you wish and come ready to discuss it with friends who may have experienced it in another language!

Our reading list favors books that are widely read and well-loved in the culture they came from.

Books will be selected by the book club host, Austin Woerner. Members are warmly encouraged to contribute book suggestions to our running list of potential titles.

Why do we read?

We read for three reasons:

  • To celebrate and encourage reading for pleasure, and foster a culture of reading for pleasure on campus

  • To share and understand the cultural reference points -- characters, places, and stories -- that have shaped us as people

  • To give students, faculty, and staff members, both Chinese and international, an opportunity to socialize in a non-academic setting and form friendships based on a shared love of books

When and where do we meet?

We meet once a month; see the schedule on our website for upcoming dates. Usually we will meet on Friday afternoon at 3:30-5:30pm, in the Block 1 Game Room of the Student Residence Hall at Duke Kunshan University.

Occasionally the book club will host "pop-up" events or smaller "spin-off" meetings to discuss other books. These meetings will be announced on the club's WeChat group.

How can I get the books?

At this point we encourage members to buy their own books. The DKU Library will have several copies of each book available for short-term loan.

Most Chinese books can be purchased in local bookstores or on e-commerce sites like Taobao, Jingdong, Dangdang, and Kongfuzi Wang. Some English titles can be purchased this way too. For those English books not easily obtained in China, we encourage members to purchase ebook editions. 

Each title on our reading list will include information about how to get a copy.