Heather Neff (born January 29, 1957) is an African-American novelist and award-winning university professor. Born in Akron, Ohio, at the age of 13 her family moved to Detroit, where she graduated from Lewis Cass Technical High School in 1975 with a degree in music. She took a B.A. with "high distinction" from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. After graduating in 1978 she studied French at the Sorbonne, and then lived in Switzerland, where she studied at the University of Basel and the University of Zurich. She received a licentiate in English Literature and Linguistics, Comparative Literature and French Linguistics in 1987, and, in 1990, a Doctorate in English Literature at the University of Zurich. Currently, she is a professor at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where she specializes in the literature of the African Diaspora. Neff currently serves as the Director of the McNair Scholars Program, a federal TRiO program.
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“Yet know I how the heather looks”
—Emily Dickinson (18301886)