(1930 - )
novelist Chinua Achebe, 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
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).
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.
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).
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
Chinua," Microsoft(R) Encarta(R) 96 Encyclopedia. (c)
1993-1995 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. (c)
Funk & Wagnalls Corporation. All rights reserved.
and Date Originally Published
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
||One of Chinua Achebe's many achievements in his acclaimed
first novel, Things Fall Apart, is his relentlessly unsentimental
rendering of Nigerian tribal life before and after the coming
of colonialism. First published in 1958, just two years before
Nigeria declared independence from Great Britain,... Read
of the Savannah
||Using the conflict between the city and tribal villages, the
ravages of the great African drought, and Third World politics
as a compelling backdrop, Achebe weaves a potent drama of modern
Africa, ... Read
Longer at Ease
||The sequel to the classic, Things Fall Apart, tells
of a troubled young African whose formal education separates
him from his roots and makes him part of a corrupt ruling elite
he despises. Reprint. Read
||Set in the Ibo heartland of eastern Nigeria, one of Africa's
best-known writers describes the conflict between old and new
in its most poignant aspect: the personal struggle between father
and son. Read
Fall Apart (Everyman's Library)
||One of the most widely read novels from Nigeria's most famous
novelist. Things Fall Apart is a gripping study of the
problem of European colonialism in Africa. The story relates
the cultural collision that occurs when Christian English missionaries
arrive among the Ibos of Nigeria, bringing along... Read
Man of the People
||By the renowned author of Things Fall Apart, this novel
foreshadows the Nigerian coups of 1966 and shows the color and
vivacity as well as the violence and corruption of a society
making its own way between the two worlds. Read
Short Stories (African Writers Series, No 270)
||Chinua Achebe has joined with C.L. Innes, co-editor of Okike,
to select stories of excellence from the writings of the last
twenty-five years. While many of the established names such
as Sembene Ousmane, Ngugi, and Bessie Head are to be found,
the collection is refreshing for the inclusion of work... Read
and Impediments : Selected Essays
||I read this as part of my required summer reading for my AP
English class, and I have only previously encountered Achebe's
work in Things Fall Apart. This collection of essays is often
thought-provoking, quite debatable, and never dull. In his opening
essay on racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness,... Read
at War : And Other Stories
||Twelve stories by the internationally renowned novelist which
recreate with energy and authenticity the major social and political
issues that confront contemporary Africans on a daily basis.
G. Paul Burnett/The New York Times
| "I will go back as soon as I can,"
said Chinua Achebe, the noted Nigerian novelist, who has been
teaching at Bard since 1990.
from THE NEW YORK TIMES - January 20, 2000
Chinua Achebe: A Storyteller Far From Home
By SOMINI SENGUPTA
To be human, the writer Chinua Achebe has said, one must have
a story. "It's one of the things humans do," he insists. "Not just
have a story, but tell a story."
For more than four decades Mr. Achebe, the man widely regarded
as the progenitor of the modern African novel and the author of
the groundbreaking 1958 book "Things Fall Apart," has been telling
the story of his native Nigeria, before and after its encounter
with European colonialism.
Quotations from Chinua Achebe - Five quotations from the
author, with sources.
the Crossroads Hour - Lewis Nkosi reviews Chinua Achebe:
A Biography, by Ezenwa-Ohaeto.
- A short biography and background information.
of Igbo and other African writers - Several links for Achebe,
including student essays, and lists of works.
Literature Author Research Project - Achebe - A brief overview
of the author and his works.
York State Writers Institute - Chinua Achebe - Books by
Achebe: An Overview - Extensive site with hyperlinks featuring
works, politics, and bibliography.
Public Library - Book Discussion: Chinua Achebe - Links
to resources on the author.
- Features information on Chinua Achebe, his books, teaching
information, teachers' and students' comments.
in Achebe's World - A brief study of the women in Chinua