Monday, February 25, 2008

The World Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart"

Chinua Achebe smiling

The literary world is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart".

Many articles and features are celebrating the 50th anniversary of "Things Fall Apart"..

No other African novel has been so highly glorified as Chinua Achebe’s classic "Things Fall Apart". It is the most popular African novel in English and in over 30 translations since the publication in 1958.

The first time I read "Things Fall Apart". was in 1975 and loved it. I read the other novels Achebe wrote after "Things Fall Apart", and I regard "Arrow of God" as the best so far. But the popularity of "Things Fall Apart" has overshadowed the importance and significance of "Arrow of God". The eaglet that was learning how to fly in "Things Fall Apart", soared as an eagle in "Arrow of God" and the novel won the New Statesman-Jock Campbell Award.

Chinua Achebe is one of the patriarchs of the modern African novel in English and he is indeed a great writer, but he is yet to write his best novel even at 77 and I am still looking forward to read the magnum opus of Chinua Achebe in modern fiction.

The London Sunday Times named Chinua Achebe as one of the "1,000 Makers of the Twentieth Century" for his classic "definition of the modern African literature that was truly African and a major contribution to world literature”, and I regard him as one of the greatest African scholars of all time.

Chinua Achebe has received numerous honors from around the world, from coveted literary awards to several honorary fellowships such as the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and more than twenty honorary doctorates from universities in England, Scotland, the United States, Canada, and Nigeria, but Chinua Achebe is yet to win the Nobel Prize for Literature and he may win it this historic year of the 50th anniversary of "Things Fall Apart".

Chinua Achebe in a recent photograph

Presently, Chinua Achebe lives with his wife in Annandale, New York, where they both teach at Bard College. They have four children.


Tor Hershman said...

You have a most interesting blog.

Stay on groovin’ safari,

Orikinla Osinachi. said...

Thanks for reading.

Cheers and God bless.