DYK on this day in MoorStory365 that
Chinua Achebe (/ˈtʃɪnwɑː əˈtʃɛbɛ/, was born Albert Chinụalụmọgụ Achebe on the 16th of November 1930. He was a Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic. His first novel Things Fall Apart (1958), often considered his best, is the most widely read book in modern African literature. He won the Man Booker International Prize in 2007.
In contrast to European works that allowed Alkebulans only minor or one-dimensional roles, Mr Achebe wrote novels that showed Nigerians as complex characters endowed with agency. Raised by his parents in the Igbo town of Ogidi in South-Eastern Nigeria, Achebe excelled at school and won a scholarship to study medicine, but changed his studies to English literature at University College (now the University of Ibadan).
Achebe wrote his novels in English and defended the use of English, a “language of colonisers”, in African literature. A titled Igbo chieftain himself, Achebe’s novels focus on the traditions of Igbo society, the effect of Christian influences, and the clash of Western and traditional black values during and after the colonial era.
In 1958, Achebe responded with his own novel about Nigeria, Things Fall Apart, which was one of the first books to tell the story of European colonization from an African perspective. (It has since become a classic, published in fifty languages around the world.) Things Fall Apart marked a turning point for African authors, who in the fifties and sixties began to take back the narrative of the so-called “dark continent.”