2020 LMU Common Book Selected

Dear LMU Colleagues,

We are delighted to announce that Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to a Tribe Called Quest, by poet and essayist Hanif Abdurraqib, has been selected as the 2020 LMU Common Book.

Abdurraqib’s book follows the path of the American hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest from the mid-1980s and the early days of hip-hop collectives, through a tumultuous 1990s that was punctuated by significant shifts in the music industry, and to the group’s final album in in 2016. Abdurraqib ruminates within the cultural moment of the late 20th century through the lens black experience. Part memoir, part history, and part elegy, Go Ahead in the Rainprovides readers with a personal and informed perspective on topics as wide ranging as rap lyricism, jazz, and sampling laws; youth, consumerism, and collaboration; professional publishing, sports, and documentary film making; and friendship, grief, and loss.

The selection of the 2020 LMU Common Book was a collaborative process between the Academic Resource Center, the William H. Hannon Library, Rhetorical Arts, and the Core. We would like to recognize Jose Badenes, Janelle DolRayne, Tony Perron, and the Rhetorical Arts instructors for their work in selecting this year’s title.

The LMU Common Book program is designed to unite the campus community in a common intellectual endeavor that goes beyond the classroom. It is our hope that the Common Book serves as a mechanism through which students, faculty, and staff can all share a common experience through the uncommon discoveries in reading.

We encourage faculty to adopt Go Ahead in the Rain in their courses. The Common Book planning committee will work over the summer to develop campus programs and events related to the Common Book. If you have ideas for programming, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We hope that faculty, staff, and students will feel inspired and engaged by this text.

For more information, or if you have ideas for a program or collaboration related to the Common Book, please contact us at commonbook@lmu.edu.


John Jackson, William H. Hannon Library
Mia Watson, Academic Resource Center