Fr. Akpan, author of Say You’re One of Them, visits USF Nov. 18.
Born under a palm-wine tree in Ikot Akpan Eda, Nigeria, as the
grandson of a man who brought Catholicism to his village, Uwen Akpan, S.J. grew
up to become an ordained Jesuit priest, an award-winning fiction writer, and
Oprah Book Club author. This week, the acclaimed writer visits the University of San Francisco to read from his collection
of stories about children, Say You’re One of Them.
To have an African author of such prominence on campus is a rare
gift, particularly for USF’s African Studies program, whose students often read
African authors to gain insights into the cultures and lifestyles of different
countries, said Karen Bouwer, associate professor of
modern and classical language in USF’s African Studies program. African Studies
is sponsoring Fr. Akpan’s Wednesday visit.
“As USF pursues its goal of social
justice, children deserve special attention because they are some of the most
vulnerable members of our society,” Bouwer said. “Fr. Akpan's stories teach us
about their experiences as their societies struggle in the face of grinding
poverty, leaving many of them orphaned and fending for themselves in the
Having the chance to listen to Fr.
Akpan and question him will help inform the USF community about the harsh challenges
facing many Africans, as well as appreciate the dynamism of African culture,
Fr. Akpan will read from Say You’re One of Them and take part in a question-and-answer session and book signing Nov. 18
at 4 p.m. in the Xavier Room at Fromm Hall. To view streaming video of Fr. Akpan's reading and the question and answer session click here, following the event.