Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe (1930-2013) was a Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic, best known for his first novel, “Things Fall Apart” (1958), which is the most widely read book in modern African literature. Achebe’s work has been pivotal in introducing African literature to a global audience and addressing the complexities of African identity and post-colonialism.

Early Life: Chinua Achebe was born on November 16, 1930, in Ogidi, Nigeria. He was raised in a Christian family in an Igbo village, an experience that profoundly influenced his writing. Achebe attended Government College Umuahia and later University College (now the University of Ibadan), where he studied English, history, and theology.

Career: Achebe’s literary career began with the publication of “Things Fall Apart,” which tells the story of pre-colonial life in Nigeria and the impact of European colonization. The novel has been translated into more than 50 languages and has sold millions of copies worldwide. Achebe wrote several other novels, including “No Longer at Ease” (1960), “Arrow of God” (1964), and “A Man of the People” (1966).

Major Works: Achebe’s works often explore themes of traditional African culture, the effects of colonialism, and the struggle for independence. His other notable works include “Anthills of the Savannah” (1987) and his essay collection “Hopes and Impediments” (1988). Achebe’s storytelling is celebrated for its lyrical prose, complex characters, and insightful social commentary.

Legacy: Achebe’s influence extends beyond his literary achievements. He was a prominent critic of colonialism and post-colonial African politics, and his work has inspired generations of writers. Achebe’s legacy is marked by his profound impact on African literature and his role in shaping contemporary understanding of African culture and history. He passed away on March 21, 2013, but his work continues to resonate globally.


Major Novels:

  • Things Fall Apart (1958)
  • No Longer at Ease (1960)
  • Arrow of God (1964)
  • A Man of the People (1966)
  • Anthills of the Savannah (1987)

Short Stories and Collections:

  • Girls at War and Other Stories (1972)
  • African Short Stories (1985, edited with C.L. Innes)


  • The Trouble with Nigeria (1983)
  • Hopes and Impediments: Selected Essays (1988)
  • Home and Exile (2000)
  • There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra (2012)

Children’s Books:

  • Chike and the River (1966)
  • How the Leopard Got His Claws (1972, with John Iroaganachi)
  • The Flute (1975)
  • The Drum (1978)
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