Achebe, Chinua. “The Art of Fiction: Chinua Achebe.” Interview by Jerome Brooks. The Paris Review 36 (Winter, 1994): 142-166. In this interview, Achebe discusses his schooling, work as a broadcaster, and views on other writers as well as the nature of his writing process and the political situation in Nigeria.
Achebe, Chinua. Home and Exile. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. An exploration, based on Achebe’s own experiences as a reader and a writer, of contemporary African literature and the Western literature that both influenced and misrepresented it.
Bolland, John. Language and the Quest for Political and Social Identity in the African Novel. Accra, Ghana: Woeli, 1996. This volume examines Achebe’s novel Anthills of the Savannah, among others, but it is valuable for its examination of African fiction and history, touching on themes found in Achebe’s short stories.
Booker, M. Keith, ed. The Chinua Achebe Encyclopedia. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2003. A helpful reference in an encyclopedia format featuring several hundred alphabetically arranged entries. Some of the entries are summary discussions of Achebe’s major works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
Carroll, David. Chinua Achebe: Novelist, Poet, Critic. Rev. 2d ed. Basingstoke, England: Macmillan, 1990. Includes historical details concerning Africa, colonialism, and twentieth century Nigerian political history. Contains a sizable bibliography and an index.
Ezenwa-Ohaeto. Chinua Achebe: A Biography. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997. Full-length biography benefits from its author’s insights as a former student of Achebe, a native of Nigeria, and a speaker of Igbo. Examines Achebe’s life and literary contributions and places them within their social, historical, and cultural contexts. Written with the cooperation of Achebe and his family, the book includes several rare and revealing photographs. Includes bibliographical references and an index.
Gikandi, Simon. Reading Chinua Achebe: Language and Ideology in Fiction. Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann, 1991. Analyzes Achebe’s short stories and novels.
Innes, C. L. Chinua Achebe. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990. Gives a detailed analysis of each of Achebe’s novels, showing how Achebe adapted what he found in Western fiction to create a new literary form—the Africanized novel. Includes a chapter on Achebe’s critical and political writings, demonstrating how the Nigerian civil war changed his politics and his fiction.
Innes, C. L., and Bernth Lindfors, eds. Critical Perspectives on Chinua Achebe. Washington, D.C.: Three Continents Press, 1978. This collection of essays by twenty different critics offers a comprehensive overview of Achebe’s work. Contains a brief introduction to Achebe’s life and background, five general assessments of his fiction, commentaries on his first four novels and his poetry, and an extensive bibliography.
Iyasere, Solomon O., ed. Understanding “Things Fall Apart”: Selected Essays and Criticism. Troy, N.Y.: Whitston, 1998. Nine essays demonstrate the breadth of approaches taken by critics. They include a reading of Okonkwo as a tragic hero, a discussion of the rhythm of the novel’s prose as it echoes African oral tradition, and a discussion of how Achebe successfully transformed the colonizers’ language to tell the story of the colonized.
Joseph, Michael Scott. “A Pre-modernist Reading of ‘The Drum’: Chinua Achebe and the Theme of the Eternal Return.” Ariel 28 (January, 1997): 149-166. In this special issue on colonialism, postcolonialism, and children’s literature, Achebe’s “The Drum” is discussed as a satirical attack on European colonial values and a text dominated by nostalgia for a lost Golden Age.
Lindfors, Bernth, ed. Conversations with Chinua Achebe. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1997. In twenty interviews, Achebe discusses African oral tradition, the need for political commitment, the relationship between his novels and his short stories, his use of myth and fable, and other issues concerning being a writer.
Mezu, Rose Ure. Chinua Achebe: The Man and His Works. London: Adonis & Abbey, 2006. Mezu, a Nigerian-born scholar and literary critic, analyzes Achebe’s novels and other writings, comparing them with other works of literature by African and African American authors, including Olaudah Equiano and Zora Neale Hurston.
Morrison, Jago. The Fiction of Chinua Achebe. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. Analyzes Achebe’s major novels, focusing on Things Fall Apart, as well as his short fiction, outlining areas of critical debate, influential approaches to his work, and the controversies his work has engendered.
Muoneke, Romanus Okey. Art, Rebellion, and Redemption: A Reading of the Novels of Chinua Achebe. New York: Peter Lang, 1994. Examines Achebe’s role as a public chronicler of Nigeria’s social, economic, and political problems in order to explore the larger issues of the writer’s redemptive role in society. Argues that Achebe’s novels challenge colonialism and negritude, two forces that have distorted the African image.
Petersen, Kirsten Holst, and Anna Rutherford, eds. Chinua Achebe: A Celebration. Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann, 1991. A compilation of essays analyzing Achebe’s work to honor his sixtieth birthday.
Wren, Robert M. Achebe’s World: The Historical and Cultural Context of the Novels of Chinua Achebe. Washington, D.C.: Three Continents Press, 1980. A seemingly authoritative, well-documented presentation that clarifies issues for readers not familiar with the Nigerian context. Claims that Achebe’s first four novels form an essentially truthful and reliable guide to the historical Nigeria. Includes an extensive glossary and a helpful bibliography.