Tuesday, 13 January 2009
Chinua Achebe is an outstanding writer famous for his novels describing the effects of Western customs and values on traditional African society. Achebe's satire and his keen ear for spoken language have made him one of the most highly esteemed African writers of our times.
He was born in Ogidi, Nigeria; Achebe attended Government College in Umuahia. Like other major Nigerian writers including Wole Soyinka, Elechi Amadi, John Okigbo and John Pepper Clark, he was also educated at the University College of Ibadan, where he graduated with a BA in English, history and theology.
In the 1960s he was the director of External Services in charge of the Voice of Nigeria. During the Nigerian Civil War (1967-70) Achebe was in the Biafran government service. Together with writers like Cyprian Ekwensi and Gabriel Okara, he toured the United States to raise awareness about the dire situation in Biafra. They visited thirty college campuses and conducted countless interviews.
Achebe was appointed research fellow at the University of Nigeria, and after serving as professor of English, he retired in 1981. Since 1985, Achebe has been a professor emeritus. An automobile accident on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway in 1990 left Achebe confined to a wheelchair, permanently.
Achebe's first novel, THINGS FALL APART, appeared in 1958. The story of a traditional village "big man" Okonkwo, and his downfall has been translated into some 50 languages.
In 2008 Things Fall Apart reaches the fiftieth anniversary of its first publication, and several conferences and events are being held across the globe in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia to celebrate Achebe and his canonical first novel. Coinciding with this major milestone, is the publication of Achebe's new book of autobiographical essays called Reflections of A British Protected Child slated for release later this year.
Things Fall Apart: A Novel
A Man of the People (Penguin Modern Classics)
Arrow of God
Anthills of the Savannah (Penguin Modern Classics)
Girls at War and Other Stories
Home and Exile
No Longer at Ease
The Trouble with Nigeria
Chike and the River