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News Release

Nigerian Writer Helon Habila to Visit Moravian College

Oil on WaterBethlehem, Pa., November 15, 2012–Nigerian writer Helon Habila will visit Moravian College on Wednesday November 28 for a discussion and a reading from his most recent novel Oil on Water. His reading and discussion will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the UBC Room, Haupert Union Building. The event is free and is open to the public.

Habila began his writing career in Lagos, Nigeria as a journalist and editor for Hints Magazine and the Vanguard Newspaper. In 2001, his short story “Love Poems” from the collection Prison Stories won the Caine Prize for African Writing. In 2002, Prison Stories was adapted into his first novel, Waiting for an Angel, which won the 2003 Commonwealth Prize for best first novel. His second novel, Measuring Time, published in 2007, won the Virginia Library Foundation’s 2008 fiction award. He was the first African Writing Fellow at the University of East Anglia in England and the first Chinua Achebe Fellow at Bard College in New York. He currently teaches creative writing at George Mason University in Virginia.

Habila will be reading from his most recent novel, Oil on Water, which was published in 2010. The novel addresses the issue of oil pollution in the Niger Delta, making it particularly relevant for the Writing as Activism students and for the college’s focus on sustainability this year. His talk will center around the themes of the book: corruption in the government and in the oil companies and the devastation of Nigerian lives and of the Nigerian environment that the oil industry creates. The book was a runner up for the 2012 PEN Open Book Award and was shortlisted for 2011 Commenwealth Writer’s Prize and the 2012 Orion Book Award.

Habila’s visit to Moravian is part of the “Sustainability | In Focus” programming. Habila will also meet with students from Dr. Joyce Hinnefeld’s Writing as Activism course earlier in the day. More information about Habila can be found at his website.

Moravian College encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. Anyone who anticipates needing any type of accommodation or who has questions about the physical access provided should contact Kathi Roman at Katro@moravian.edu or 610-625-7880.

Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pa. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America’s sixth-oldest college. Moravian partners with students to build a strong foundation for their futures. Visit the College’s Web site at www.moravian.edu.