Patrice Nganang, the Cameroonian-American novelist, poet, and academic who was detained at an airport and arrested last month in Douala, Cameroon, following the publication of an article critical of government repression in the country, has been freed. He had been imprisoned in Kondengui, a maximum security prison in the nation's capital, Yaoundé.
"He was accused of insulting and threatening a president.... He was arrested on December 7 while visiting Cameroon, but is now free," PEN America executive director Suzanne Nossel wrote in a letter to members.
Nganang, an associate professor of comparative literature at SUNY Stony Brook, was born in Yaoundé and educated both in Cameroon and in Germany, and holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature. He is scheduled to serve as an Old Dominion Professor at Princeton University in spring 2018, in addition to taking up a fellowship at Princeton's Humanities Council. He is the author of seven books, including the novel Mount Pleasant, which was published in English translation last year by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.