Chinua Achebe - Nigerian Writer, Critic, and Poet

Chinua Achebe's Life

Chinua Achebe is a Nigerian writer, critic, and poet who occupies a pivotal position in modern African literature. His magnum opus, Things Fall Apart, is still one of the most widely studied and translated African works. His life, writing, and influence are the topics of this article.

chinua achebe's life

Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe was an important figure in modern African literature. His magnum opus, Things Fall Apart, is still one of the most widely translated and studied works of African literature. It is also the most widely studied and translated of all the works by Achebe.

Chinua Achebe's life was a complicated one

Born in 1932, he was only 28 years old when he published Things Fall Apart, his debut novel. The book's title was a bold statement of the influence of colonialism on African society, and it was widely translated. This novel helped make Achebe a leading voice in African literature.

His Writings

Chinua Achebe's submissions often take the form of stories, but they're equally rich in meaning. The short stories Achebe writes are a lesser studied genre than his novels, yet they're just as rich in content. Besides the novels, Achebe's short stories are often published in anthologies.

Chinua Achebe's childhood

Chinua Achebe's childhood was spent in Igbo communities, where storytelling is a tradition. In his early years, his mother and sister would read him stories. He was also surrounded by books from Shakespeare and 'The Pilgrim's Progress.

His Career

Chinua Achebe studied at the Government College in Umuahia, Nigeria, an equivalent of a university preparatory school. He went on to study medicine at the University College in Ibadan, now the University of Ibadan, and earned a PhD in the same field. But he changed his major to liberal arts, and became an expert in English. He also taught English at the University College for a short time.

Achebe's career spanned several decades, and he was recognized both as a poet and novelist. His first novel, Things Fall Apart, was widely acclaimed and is considered one of the greatest works of modern African literature. He also wrote No Longer at Ease (1960), Anthills of the Savannah (1977), and a number of children's books.

His Influence on Other African Writers

Chinua Achebe's debut novel, Things Fall Apart (1958), explored the devastating effects of colonialism on the traditional African man. Published in 50 languages, it has been embraced by critics and appeared on high school reading lists. It was so influential that it spent four weeks on the USA TODAY Best-Selling Books List in 2006. Things Fall Apart tells the story of Okonkwo, an Igbo man who is forced to accept the new order, despite his own traditional moral values.

Achebe also had an influence on other African writers. Though he avoided being referred to as the father of modern African literature, his works were influential and seminal. As a result, some writers have been deemed part of the Achebe School.

His Influence on Mister Johnson

It is hard to deny the influence of Chinua Achebe on the world of Mister Johnson. The novel was one of the most popular novels in the English imperial literary canon when it was first published, and it was praised by Time magazine as one of the best African-themed novels ever written. In fact, a classmate of Achebe's actually enjoyed reading the novel, which led to a new wave of scholarship.

Although Achebe never won the Nobel Prize, he was awarded the Man Booker International Prize, a $120,000 lifetime achievement award. In the United States, Achebe taught at Bard College and lived in a cottage built for him on the campus of the liberal arts college. In 2009, Achebe moved to Brown University as a professor of languages and literature.

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