Chinua Achebe


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Achebe, Chinua

(chĭn`wä ächā`bā), 1930–2013, Nigerian writer, b. Albert Chinualumogu Achebe. A graduate of University College, Ibadan (1953), Achebe, an Igbo who wrote in English, is one of Africa's most acclaimed authors, and is considered by some to be the father of modern African literature. He taught briefly before becoming an executive at the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (1961–66). Pioneering in their portrayal of African life from an African perspective, his early novels are the groundbreaking Things Fall Apart (1958), which has been acclaimed his masterpiece and is probably the most widely read book by a black African writer; No Longer at Ease (1960); and Arrow of God (1964). Forming a thematic trilogy, these works poignantly describe the confusing and often destructive effects of European colonialism and Western values on individual characters as well as on Igbo society, Nigeria, and the newly independent African nations.

His next novel, the political satire A Man of the People (1966), foreshadowed Nigeria's 1966 coups. Achebe served as a diplomat (1966–68) for BiafraBiafra, Republic of,
secessionist state of W Africa, in existence from May 30, 1967, to Jan. 15, 1970. At the outset Biafra comprised, roughly, the East-Central, South-Eastern, and Rivers states of the Federation of Nigeria, where the Igbo people predominated.
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 during the Nigerian civil war and later wrote two volumes of poetry, Beware, Soul Brother (1971) and Christmas in Biafra (1973), and one of literary essays, Morning Yet on Creation Day (1975), about the war. He taught at the Univ. of Nigeria, Nsukka (1976–81), and was founding editor (1971) of the influential journal Okike. Achebe returned to the novel with Anthills of the Savannah (1988), which explores the corruption and idealism of political life in postcolonial Africa. He also wrote numerous short stories, children's books, and essays. A paraplegic as a result of a 1990 automobile accident near Lagos, Achebe received medical treatment in London and in the United States, where he settled (1990). He taught at Bard College from 1990 to 2009 and at Brown from 2009 until his death. Three personal works, Home and Exile (2000), a collection of essays reflecting on his and his nation's coming of age; the autobiographical essays of The Education of a British-Protected Child (2009); and his memoir-history of the Biafran war, There Was a Country (2012), are the only books he published during this period. In 2007 he was awarded the Man Booker International Prize.

Bibliography

See B. Lindfors, ed., Conversations with Chinua Achebe (1997); biographies by Ezenwa-Obaeto (1997) and T. M. Sallah and N. Okonjo-Iweala (2003); studies by R. Wren (1980), B. C. Njoku (1984), C. L. Innes (1990), S. Gikandi (1991), K. H. Petersen and A. Rutherford, ed. (1991), R. O. Muoneke (1994), A. Gera (2001), E. N. Emenyonu, ed. (2003), M. Pandurang, ed. (2006), J. Morrison (2007), and B. Lindfors (2009); M. K. Booker, ed., The Chinua Achebe Encyclopedia (2003)

References in periodicals archive ?
A few reactions to the book, however, have been bluntly hostile, the most extreme example being the attack Chinua Achebe, the Igbo novelist, launched against the book and its author shortly after its publication.
Chinua Achebe, the pre-eminent Nigerian novelist, is undoubtedly one of the most important writers of our time.
Van also established the Heinemann African Writers Series through which he helped novelists like Chinua Achebe, Cyprian Ekwensi, Wole Soyinka, Ayi Kwei Armah and Ngugi Wa Thiongo to become writers of international repute.
In the preface to his deeply involved and thoroughly researched biography of the Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe, Ezenwa-Ohaeto finds assurance in the fact that Achebe approved of the project.
Naipaul, Chinua Achebe, and other writers from the once-colonized world.
But, as Chinua Achebe once wrote, a stick could stay in water but will never be a fish or crocodile.
Thus Ismail Kadare is to modern Albanian literature what Chinua Achebe is to modern Nigerian literature.
Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe What the music says may be serious, but as a medium it should not be questioned, analysed, or taken so seriously.
One extreme reaction to this problem is the "baby and the bathwater" dilemma; because Conrad was a "thoroughgoing racist" (257), as Chinua Achebe argues, we simply should not be teaching Heart of Darkness.
The Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe once said that "arrogant Westerners" should not review African literature.
Focusing on two novels of the world-acclaimed African novelist, Chinua Achebe, the paper suggests that even when a writer's stylistic inclinations are recognizable, each literary work is at the same time a product of peculiar thematic, social and discursive situations, which are inevitably reflected in its stylistic features.
59) This represented a fundamental struggle between peasant and elite society over what Chinua Achebe has described as that which is "right and natural.