Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

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History of the Text

Publication History and Reception: Chinua Achebe was born in 1930 and raised in the Igbo town of Ogidi in Nigeria. His parents were Christian missionaries, and his father was a catechist for the Church Missionary Society. As a result, he grew up surrounded by both English missionary and Igbo influences. Achebe was inspired to write Things Fall Apart in response to the negative stereotypes of Africans often depicted in European literature. Achebe strove to convey a truthful, indigenous perspective on African identity and culture. Things Fall Apart was one of the first novels by an African author to reach worldwide acclaim. It became the cornerstone of an African literary movement inspired by the oral traditions of Africa’s indigenous cultures. Things Fall Apart has sold millions of copies and is credited for introducing the diversity and complexity of Igbo culture—and African cultures more generally—to international audiences.

An Example of African Storytelling Traditions and European Realism: Things Fall Apart bears some influences from African oral traditions as well as European literature of the 19th and 20th centuries. 

  • Oral Traditions: Achebe is well known for his incorporation of Igbo proverbs and folktales into the...

(The entire section is 377 words.)