Chinua Achebe: A Poet of Global Encounters

Africa is a Country (Old Site)


The first time I met Chinua Achebe I had just started teaching at Bard College, where I had been hired as Director of Africana Studies. I saw Chinua one evening at a campus event and nervously approached to introduce myself. I did not expect his humor or his humility. Instead of exchanging a quick word or two, he engaged me in a long conversation about the state of Africana studies and my research in Ghana. I tentatively began to seek out his company and realized that, while he was one of the most important living writers in the world, he was also lonely living in upstate New York. Over the next six years I spent as much time as I could at the house on the Bard campus where Chinua and his wife Christie lived. Sometimes I was invited but eventually I just started showing up; for food and conversation…

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