The world lost an important voice with Chinua Achebe’s death on March 21, 2013. Critics consider the writer, born in Ogidi, Nigeria in 1930, one of the finest Nigerian novelists. Chinua Achebe eschewed trends in English literature and embraced the African oral tradition. See the Chinua Achebe biography page from In Search of the Novel, Ten Novelists, for background on the author and his writing style.
Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart asks readers to consider what they would do if their whole way of living was suddenly threatened by a group of outsiders. Okonkwo, the protagonist of this work, faces the imminent influence of British values on his Nigerian Igbo community. The Ten Novels page provides a synopsis and reviews of Things Fall Apart. Anthony Appiah, Achebe’s friend, explains his view of the novel Things Fall Apart in the program Invitation to World Literature: “One of the things that Achebe has always said, is that part of what he thought the task of the novel was, was to create a usable past. Trying to give people a richly textured picture of what happened, not a sort of monotone bad Europeans, noble Africans, but a complicated picture in which mistakes are made on both sides.”
Also, in Teaching Multicultural Literature, workshop 8, “Social Justice and Action,” author Joseph Bruchac talks about his friendship with Achebe and how Achebe influenced his writing.