An oft overlooked titan of letters recently released his first book since 1990. Nigerian novelist and scholar, Chinua Achebe, rose to prominence with the 1958 publication of Things Fall Apart. Prior to this book, the western literary world’s engagement with Africa was that of a latent –and sometimes blatant—racist bent. Things Fall Apart changed that. Achebe’s characters struggled with the myriad scars left by colonialism’s rampant exploitation and watched traditional Nigerian society crumble. He did not shy from faults within traditional culture, but advocated strongly that Africans were not, nor ever were, savages. He rose to further prominence with his 1975 criticism of Joseph Conrad’s previously sacrosanct Heart of Darkness.
The New York Times profiled Mr. Achebe today and discussed his new book, The Education of a British-Protected Child. The Austin Public Library has ordered it and it should be arriving shortly.
In the meantime, the Austin Public Library owns numerous works by Chinua Achebe as well as books about Nigerian literature.
Things Fall Apart
Anthills of the Savannah
Girls at War
A Man of the People
Home and Exile
Bernth Lindfors’ Early Nigerian Literature
Wole Soyinka's The Open Sore of a Continent