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On a Writer's Mind

Early inspiration for Nelson Mandela: South African Revolutionary

Last week I had the pleasure of presenting a copy of Nelson Mandela: South African Revolutionary to Ifeanyi Menkiti, a classmate of mine from Pomona College. I’d dedicated the book to him because back when I was an extremely naïve and inexperienced undergraduate, he was the first African (Nigerian) I met. His confidence and dignity made a deep impression on me, and I recalled that first impression many years later, working on my biography of Mandela. Over lunch, we three (my husband Bob, a semi-retired book publisher, came along) were talking so eagerly, we forgot to take a picture. But here’s a shot of Ifeanyi’s famous Grolier Poetry Bookshop in Cambridge, the oldest continuous poetry bookstore in the U.S.
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