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DAVID MCKEOWN / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Penn State Schuylkill professor Charles Cantalupo talks about his book, “Non-Native Speaker: Selected & Sundry Essays,” before reading part of it Thursday at Penn State Schuylkill.

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN — A Penn State Schuylkill professor talked about his experiences in Africa on Thursday at Penn State Schuylkill.

About 40 people were outside the Health and Wellness Building on campus to hear Charles Cantalupo, Bethlehem.

The 66-year-old is a distinguished professor of English, comparative literature and Africa studies at the campus and the author of a dozen books.

He read two passages from his book “Non-Native Speaker: Selected & Sundry Essays,” published by Africa World Press.

The book is a collection of essays over a span of 25 years. It starts in 1993 with the first time he interviewed someone and ends with the last interview he had with that person in 2016. He has gone to Africa numerous times in his lifetime.

“I first went to Eritrea in 1995,” Cantalupo said, adding he first started translating in 1997. “A book doesn’t happen simply because one person writes it.”

He talked about how writers will face rejection but must keep pushing on.

“You will get a yes, maybe 1 percent of the time. One percent is enough. You can make it with that,” he said.

Fifty of the books will be available to people in Eritrea.

The publisher and the Office of Academic Affairs at Penn State Schuylkill will work jointly together to send the books, Cantalupo said. He said the cost of books is usually unaffordable in Africa.

Asked what he wants people to get out of the book, he said, “To enjoy and learn from literature and writers.”

Copies of the book were available for sale Thursday. They are also available at and other locations.

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