Fall 2009 Common Text Week begins with the screening of “Far From Home” on Tuesday, and is followed with a talk by the author of All Souls: A Family Story From Southie on Thursday.

Rachel Tsustumi’s 2005 film “Far From Home” will be screened from 7 to 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, in Room 126, John R. Roach Center for the Liberal Arts.

The film is a profile of Kandice, an African-American teenager participating in METCO, a voluntary school busing program in Boston that has roots in the desegregation and busing campaigns of the late ’60s and early ’70s.

 “Far From Home” follows Kandice during her last two years of high school as she experiences the triumphs and struggles of being one of only a handful of African-American students attending school in Weston, a predominantly white suburb.

Michael Patrick MacDonald to speak on his memoir

On Thursday, Oct. 15, noted author Michael Patrick MacDonald will speak about his memoir, All Souls: A Family Story From Southie, the Common Text selection for fall semester.

This event will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium, with overflow seating in Room 126, John R. Roach Center for the Liberal Arts.

In his book, MacDonald relates the story of growing up Irish in South Boston in the ’70s and ’80s and his experiences with poverty, racism, busing, violence and tragic personal loss. He also will speak about his recent work as an anti-violence activist in Boston.

This event is sponsored by the English Department, the Center for Irish Studies, the Office of Institutional Diversity, Multicultural Student Services, the American Culture and Difference Program, the Justice and Peace Studies Department, and the Sociology and Criminal Justice Department.