Saint Martin’s hosts physician and writer Ngozi Achebe

October 18, 2010

Lacey, Washington — Saint Martin’s University will host local physician and writer Ngozi Achebe on Wednesday, October 20 at 5 p.m. in the O’Grady Library Benedictine Reading Room on the University’s main campus (5300 Pacific Avenue SE, Lacey, Washington). Student members of Saint Martin’s Sigma Tau Delta chapter, the International English Honor Society, are sponsoring the event, which is free and open to the public.

Achebe, born in London and raised in Nigeria, currently lives and practices medicine in Olympia. Her interest in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century history was the catalyst for her new book, Onaedo: The Blacksmith’s Daughter, which tells the story of two women separated by four hundred years, but linked by history. Achebe will talk about balancing writing and medicine, and share stories about her uncle, Chinua Achebe, Brown University professor and renowned author of Things Fall Apart.

“We are very pleased and excited to have such an esteemed guest,” says Saint Martin’s Sigma Tau Delta student president Kayleen Kondrack, who was introduced to Achebe through Saint Martin’s English professor Olivia Archibald. “A writer and doctor, [Dr. Achebe] will have a lot to offer everyone who attends the event.”

"This event [with Dr. Achebe] will give our students the rare opportunity to talk with a writer whose life and family history offer a glimpse of the world beyond our walls,” adds Saint Martin’s English professor Jamie Olson. “Dr. Achebe’s uncle, Chinua Achebe, authored some of the most important texts to come out of postcolonial Africa, and her own new novel carries that same cosmopolitan experience forward into the twenty-first century.”

The students of Saint Martin’s Sigma Tau Delta chapter are committed to making literature relevant and accessible to the community, from scheduling local author events to reading stories to children at local bookstores to organizing book drives that raise money for charities. Last spring, the chapter brought Pulitzer Prize nominee and MacArthur fellow Lucia Perillo, a poet and former Saint Martin’s University professor, back to campus for a reading.

For more information about this event or Saint Martin’s Sigma Tau Delta chapter, contact the chapter’s faculty advisor, Jamie Olson at

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, Catholic, coeducational university located on a 380-acre wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 18 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 22 majors and six graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250 students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Everett College, Centralia College, and Tacoma Community College.

For additional information:

Genevieve Canceko Chan
VP, communications & marketing
Saint Martin’s University