Archive - November 7, 2013

William F.S. Miles (Niger 1977-79) "A Used Book, a Lost Era"

William F.S. Miles (Niger 1977-79) "A Used Book, a Lost Era"

The back page of The Chronicle Review always has a thoughtful short essay written by an academic (yes, some academics can write) and it is usually what I turn to when the weekly Chronicle of Higher Education arrives. (This publication, by the way, is one of the best edited papers in the U.S.) The November 8, 2013, issue has an essay entitled “A Used Book, A Lost Era” by William F.S. Miles (Niger 1977-79) that tracks how he found a used copy of R.C. Abraham’s 992-page Dictionary of the Hausa Language, that he had as a PCV in Niger, and that he would use later when he was a Fulbright Scholar in Niger. He found a used copy of Abraham’s dictionary on sale at Amazon for $25. He bought the book and he writes with great feeling and great regret: I opened the shipping packet with the kind of anticipation . . .

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