Africa Loses Its ‘Grandfather of African Literature’

Chinua Achebe
Chinua Achebe, ‘Grandfather of African Literature’

Best known for his 1958 novel, Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe was the voice through which Africa told its own story. On March 21st, the world lost arguably the greatest African writer. The 82 year old native Nigerian died in Boston, MA where he worked as a professor.

Things Fall Apart is the story of Igbo warrior Okonkwo’s village and the  19th century arrival of white colonizers.  It has sold more than 10million copies around the world and has been published in 50 languages.

It is interesting to note that Achebe received many awards, but never the Nobel prize for literature. Achebe celebrated with the rest of Nigeria when fellow countryman and contemporary, Wole Soyinka won it in 1986. Achebe called his greatest awards accolades from  Nelson Mandela. Mandela said  that Achebe “brought Africa to the rest of the world” and called him “the writer in whose company the prison walls came down”.

Notable work(s) 

The African Trilogy:

  • Things Fall Apart 
  • No Longer at Ease
  • Arrow of God


A Man of the People
Anthills of the Savannah.


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