Alan Tu ’23 is the winner of the 2020 Visiting Committee Prize for Undergraduate Book Collecting. The prize, which has been awarded annually to Harvard College students since 1977, recognizes students who collect books and encourages others to start collecting. A sophomore from Rochester, New York, Tu concentrates in Physics and plans to pursue Statistics and German in his secondary studies.
In his essay, “Found in Translation: Contemporary World Fiction Revisited,” Tu argues that “limiting the geographic scope of our reading [limits] our exposure to other cultures and their imaginations.” His collection of 69 fiction titles, most of which were published after 1950, includes canonical works but also lesser-known books and titles published by small presses.
A virtual exhibit has been created to showcase Tu’s entry. It features his essay, annotated bibliography and images, and maps that pinpoint the birthplaces of the authors in the collection.
All Harvard College students are eligible to apply for the 2021 Collecting Prize; the first-round deadline is January 28, 2021. Click for information on the application guidelines and process, or email Lynn Sayers with questions.