South African memoirist Glen Retief is an Assistant Professor of Creative Nonfiction at Susquehanna University. Here he’s prepared an audio essay on teaching travel writing to American students abroad, recorded in part while staying with them in a Xhosa seaside village just three weeks ago.
“The overall purpose of the program,” he writes, “was to immerse students in a different culture. I can think of few places more unlike SU than the traditional African seaside village where we spent a week living among the people, meeting with elders, farming, fishing, and learning what makes us different and what we have in common. Writing is, of course, always one of the best ways for students to make sense of their experiences.”
Glen’s memoir, The Jack Bank, about growing up white and gay in apartheid South Africa, is forthcoming from St. Martin’s Press, and I’ll soon be posting an interview with Glen about that book, here at the blog.