Days after September 11, 2001, an ambitious Bangladeshi immigrant was working behind the counter at a convenience store. A white man entered and shot him in the face, nearly killing him. After a Death Row sentence was handed down, the convict and the victim developed an incredible bond.

What follows is The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas by Anand Giridharadas. The book is a powerful examination of the ties that bind all of humanity, and the lines we draw when deciding who is or is not American. Giridharadas, who is also a columnist for The New York Times, will give a lecture on his book at 7 p.m. tonight in the Sottile Theatre, as part of CofC’s College Reads program. The event is free and open to all. During the Q&A, Giridharadas will be joined by one of the book’s protagonists, Rais Bhuiyan.