Chinua Achebe

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Chinua Achebe is a 3-Time Bestselling Author

Chinua Achebe was Voted the #34 Favorite Author of the 20th Century

The novelist Chinua Achebe (November 16, 1930 — March 21, 2013), a fine stylish and an astute social critic, is one of the best-known African writers in the West and his novels are often assigned in university courses.

Nigerian novelist and poet, whose works explore the impact of European culture on African society. Achebe’s unsentimental, often ironic books vividly convey the traditions and speech of the Ibo people. Born in Ogidi, Nigeria, Achebe was educated at the University College of Ibadan (now the University of Ibadan).

He subsequently taught at various universities in Nigeria and the United States. Achebe wrote his first novel, Things Fall Apart (1958), partly in response to what he saw as inaccurate characterizations of Africa and Africans by British authors. The book describes the effects on Ibo society of the arrival of European colonizers and missionaries in the late 1800s.

Achebe’s subsequent novels No Longer at Ease (1960), Arrow of God (1964), A Man of the People (1966), and Anthills of the Savannah (1987) are set in Africa and describe the struggles of the African people to free themselves from European political influences. During Nigeria’s tumultuous political period of the late 1960s and early 1970s, Achebe became politically active. Most of his literary works of this time address Nigeria’s internal conflict (see Nigeria, Federal Republic of: Civil War). These books include the volumes of poetry Beware, Soul Brother (1971) and Christmas in Biafra (1973), the short-story collection Girls at War (1972), and the children’s book How the Leopard Got His Claws (1972).

In 1971 Achebe helped to found the influential literary magazine Okike. His other writings include the essay collections Morning Yet on Creation Day (1975), which he later expanded under the title Hopes and Impediments (1988); and The Trouble with Nigeria (1983).

"Achebe, Chinua," Microsoft(R) Encarta(R) 96 Encyclopedia. (c) 1993-1995 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. (c) Funk & Wagnalls Corporation. All rights reserved.

Books and Date Originally Published

Things Fall Apart, 1958
No Longer at Ease, 1960
The Sacrificial Egg and Other Stories, 1962
Arrow of God, 1964
A Man of the People, 1966
Chike and the River, 1966
Beware, Soul-Brother, and Other Poems, 1971
How the Leopard Got His Claws (with John Iroaganachi), 1972
Girls at War, 1973
Christmas at Biafra, and Other Poems, 1973
Morning Yet on Creation Day, 1975
The Flute, 1975
The Drum, 1978
Don’t Let Him Die: An Anthology of Memorial Poems for Christofer Okigbo (editor with Dubem Okafor), 1978
Aka Weta: An Anthology of Igbo Poetry (co-editor), 1982
The Trouble With Nigeria, 1984
African Short Stories, 1984
Anthills of the Savannah, 1988
Hopes and Impediments, 1988

His volume of poetry Christmas in Biafra" was the joint winner of the first Commonwealth Poetry Prize. Of his novels, Arrow of God "won the New Statesman"-Jock Campbell Award, and Anthills of the Savannah" was a finalist for the 1987 Man Booker Prize. Things Fall Apart", Achebe’s masterpiece, has been published in fifty different languages and has sold more than ten million copies internationally since its first publication in 1958. Achebe is the recipient of the Nigerian National Merit Award, Nigeria’s highest award for intellectual achievement. In 2007, he won the Man Booker International Prize. He died in March 2013.

chinua achebe biography by ezenwa-ohaetoChinua Achebe biography by Ezenwa-Ohaeto
The first biography of the great Nigerian writer, Chinua Achebe

"This pioneering biography draws upon a wealth of printed and oral sources to produce a vivid record of the life and times of Africa’s most influential novelist. Ezenwa-Ohaeto is Achebe’s Boswell; nothing of importance, large or small, seems to escape him."
— Bernth Lindfors, University of Texas


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17 Books by Chinua Achebe