9 February, 2015
The Author of Things Fall Apart
Born in Nigeria in 1930, Chinua Achebe, who is well known as the father of African story writing, attended the University of Ibadan. In 1958, his breathtaking book Things Fall Apart was published. It went on to sell more than 12 million copies and has since been translated into over fifty languages. Later went on to serve as a professor of David and Marianna Fisher University and Africana Studies at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. After some time, he died on March 21, 2013, at age 82, in Boston, Massachusetts.
The famous writer and teacher Chinua Achebe was born named Albert Chinualumogu Achebe on November 16, 1930, in the Igbo town of Ogidi in eastern Nigeria. After being educated in English at the University of Ibadan, in 1961, Achebe joined the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation as director of external broadcasting. He served in that position until 1966. Before joining NBC, in 1958, Achebe published his first novel: Things Fall Apart. The revolutionary novel centers on the cultural clash between native African culture and the traditional white culture of missionaries and the colonial government placed in Nigeria. This legacy defining novel would eventually become a startling success. Since its publishing the novel Things Fall Apart has become required reading in many schools across the world for its daring story about a boy named “Okonkwo,” an Igbo man who kills a white colonist in the 1890s.
The 1960s proved to be a creatively rich period for Achebe. It was during this decade that he wrote the novels No Longer at Ease, Arrow of God and A Man of the People, all of which address the issue of traditional ways of life coming into conflict with new, colonial, points of view (famousauthors.org). In 1967, Chinua Achebe and Christopher Okigbo, a well known poet, co-founded a publishing company, the Citadel Press, which they planned to run as an outlet for fresh African-oriented children's books. Okigbo was soon killed, however, in the Nigerian civil war. Two years later, Achebe visited the United States with Gabriel Okara and Cyprian Ekwensi, fellow writers, giving lectures at various universities. The 1960s also consisted of Achebe's wedding to Christie Chinwe Okoli in 1961, and they went on to have four children. When he returned home to Nigeria from the United States, Achebe became a professor of English at the University of Nigeria (kirjasto.sci.fi). He also served as director of two Nigerian publishing houses, Heinemann Educational Books Ltd. and Nwankwo-Ifejika Ltd.
Moving towards the 1970s, these years proved equally productive, and Achebe published several collections of short stories and a children's book: How the Leopard Got His Claws. Also released around this time were the poetry collections Beware, Soul Brother and Christmas in Biafra, and Achebe's first book of essays, Morning Yet on Creation Day (kirjasto.sci.fi).While back in the United States in 1975, at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Achebe gave a lecture called "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness," in which he assured that Joseph Conrad's famous novel alienates Africans. The work referred to Conrad as a "thoroughgoing racist," and, when published in essay form, it went on to become a seminal postcolonial African work (biography.com). Achebe joined the faculty at the University of Connecticut that same year, returning to the University of Nigeria