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   Front cover:
   Jerome Liebling
   Chinua Achebe, Amherst MA, 1988
   © Jerome Liebling Photography  

     by Stephen Clingman

   EDITOR'S NOTE: In our Spring issue the
   Massachusetts Review is honored to feature the
   contributions to a recent symposium held at the
   University of Massachusetts Amherst . . .

   An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness,
     an essay by Chinua Achebe

   IN THE FALL OF 1974 I was walking one day from
   the English Department at the University of Massachusetts
   to a parking lot. It was a fine autumn morning, such as
   encouraged friendliness to passing strangers. . . .

   The West’s Most Undervalued Friend,
     an essay by Chidi Achebe

   GOOD AFTERNOON, EVERYONE. Very quickly, let me begin
   by thanking the Chancellor, the Provost, Professor Clingman,
   Professor Thelwell, Professor Chametzky, friends,
   colleagues, the committee, all the departments, all the
   colleges, everyone that came together to put this
   conference together. . .

   It is the Storyteller who makes us see what we are,
     an essay by Caryl Phillips

   I’D LIKE TO SAY a few things about Chinua Achebe,
   which hopefully resonate somewhat with our title —
   “It is the Storyteller who makes us see what we are.”. . .

   A Tale of Two Books: A Forgotten Story and
     Things Fall Apart,
an essay by Chika Unigwe
    IN THIS STORY, the girl has tightly plaited hair gathered
   on top of her head in an intricate style and decorated
   with a dozen multicolored baubles. It looks like a
   miniature, brightly decorated Christmas tree. . . .

   Unheard-of Things, an essay by Maaza Mengiste
   THERE IS A SAYING in Ethiopia: when the one who will be
   killed is in the presence of the killer, there is freedom.
   In that moment, there is nothing left to lose. It is possible,
   even, to do unheard-of things. . . .

   Photo and Photo and Photo, a poem by Marianne Boruch
   MUYBRIDGE. As if drugged, such staring
   the world thought practically pornographic, what
   with their skivvies mainly, and too much
   workaday flesh. . . .

   Charm, an essay by Marianne Boruch
   Years ago I went with my son Will, a high school cellist,
   to check out various music schools. We found ourselves in
   a famous teacher’s studio, invited in to observe a lesson. . . .

   Descartes, His Daughter, and Her Dog, 
     a story by Lynda Sexson

   OF THE THINGS that may be doubted was a man named
   Descartes who abandoned the study of letters to live among
   the abattoirs on Kalverstraat. He packed home carcasses of
   cows, like girls slung over his shoulder. . . .

   And the Temple of Doom Town, an essay by Matt Salyer
   I AM GOING TO HAVE a good day. I can tell. At zero-six, a
   bone of moon still hangs in runnels of sun. I linger in the
   enlisted smoking area with a South African colonel. We talk
   about daughters and wars and airport novels, our
   Kiplingesque “politics of Loaferdom". . . .