Chinua Achebe was born in the colony of Niger in 1930, to Ibo parents who were Christian converts. He attended British-style schools in Nigeria, including University College, Ibadeen, and graduated from London University in 1953.
Achebe’s first novel, Things Fall Apart, is a classic of African literature. Among all the colonial governments in Africa, the British in Nigeria fostered first education in its territory. As a result, Nigerian writers preceded those in other areas of Africa. Things Fall Apart is noted as the first African novel. Achebe, a master of his craft, also wrote No Longer at Ease (1960), Arrow of God (1964), A Man of the People (1966), and Anthills of the Savannah (1987). Achebe also published poetry, short stories, and essays.
In Things Fall Apart and in his later novels, Achebe wanted to counter demeaning and incorrect stereotypes of his people and Eurocentric presentations of the confrontation between the Ibo of Nigeria and the British intruders. In his novels, Achebe admits, he strives for artistic excellence but also wants to give a message. Just as the oral tradition of the Ibo people served their society by sustaining its values, so the modern Ibo, writing in English, should serve Ibo society.
In Things Fall Apart, Achebe combines the Ibo oral tradition’s narrative style with the Western world’s traditional novel form. In novel...
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