EMU Common Reads

The Intellectual Life Committee invites you to join us in reading Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta, the 2016-2017 EMU Common Read. Join us for a number of events that relate to the topics in the book.
Emmi Itäranta will be on campus, April 2017.

Memory of Water cover

The world is a landscape of drought and risen seas. A military regime controls the remaining freshwater resources with an iron grip.

In the far north, seventeen-year-old Noria Kaitio is the last in the long line of tea masters. She must soon take responsibility for a secret carefully guarded by her predecessors: her family has been caring for a hidden freshwater spring for generations.

As the army turns its attention towards the tea master’s house, Noria learns that knowledge and power are irrevocably connected – and that her choices will determine the fate of everyone she loves.

Some secrets demand betrayal.

Memory of Water is Emmi Itäranta’s award-winning speculative fiction debut novel, which she wrote simultaneously in English and Finnish. It was published to high praise in Finland in 2012, drawing comparisons to the works of Ursula K. Le Guin and Margaret Atwood. Memory of Water went on to win the Kalevi Jäntti Literary Prize for young authors and the Young Aleksis Kivi Prize in 2013. It was also shortlisted for the Tähtivaeltaja Award in 2013.

From author’s website


  • Suter Science Seminar – Wednesday, Sept. 14 @ 4 p.m.
    Stream Restoration, Ecological Monitoring and Community Engagement in a Shenandoah Watershed
    Jim Yoder, PhD — Professor of Biology, Eastern Mennonite University
  • Tuesday Lunch – Sept. 27 @ 12 noon
  • Suter Sciene Seminar – Wednesday, Sept. 28 @ 4 p.m.
    Flint’s Drinking Water Crisis and the Urgency to Reimagine Engineers’ Relationship with the Public
    Yanna Lambrinidou, PhD — Affiliate Faculty in Science and Technology in Society, Virginia Tech
  • TGIW – Nov. 2 @ 4 pm – Conservation Photo and Water with Steven Johnson.