Julianna Haubner ’14 discusses how her longtime favorite book, Empire Falls by former Colby professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Russo, “in a weird and fortuitous way, stalked me to college and back.” She writes about her relationship with the book and its characters, from her first read as a 14-year-old to later re-reads as a Colby student and, now, alumna.

After coming to Colby and learning that Russo wrote some of the book while he was a professor on campus, she says she saw Empire Falls “in a new light, because I saw it all around me. When I drove down I-95 or into small towns on weekend road trips … I sat with Miles and Tick and Janine, saw what they saw and ate what they ate. It brought the story alive in a way that I never would have expected.” Pondering how she will understand the story and the characters differently at different ages, Haubner poses the question, “How often do you get to relive a story over and over as each one of its characters?”