Arounothay was a survivor of the Laotian holocaust of the 1970s. An economist, he was my upstairs neighbor at the university apartments in Brazzaville, the capital of the Little Congo. It’s hard to imagine a more misplaced individual, but he was teaching economics in a Marxist country. Marxist in name only. Of the horrors of the twentieth century, the Pathet Lao in Vientiane were up at the top in cruelty and murderous social engineering.
There wasn’t much to do in Brazzaville in 1980. The little People’s Republic of the Congo faces the immense Zaire (the other, capitalist “Congo”), its capital Kinshasa visible in the distance
across the mighty Congo River.
I was supposed to be teaching English at the Université Marien Ngouabi, which disdainful expats called “Le Lycée…” Continue reading Voice of…Reason
Now after 32 years, I present to you my correspondence with Bernard Malamud, March 15 and April 14, 1981. Continue reading Malamud and Me