“I tell my students, it’s not difficult to identify with somebody like yourself, somebody next door who looks like you. What’s more difficult is to identify with someone you don’t see, who’s very far away, who’s a different color, who eats a different kind of food. When you begin to do that then literature is really performing its wonders.” – Baba Chinua Achebe
Professor Chinua Achebe, one of the best fiction writers in recent memory, passed away in his USA base, according to reports yet to be independently confirmed by elombah.com. He was born on November 16, 1930, and had been in hospital in recent days. Achebe is best known for his classical novel Things Fall Apart.
His last book, There Was A Country: A Personal History of Biafra, is still making waves and has proven very controversial in his native Nigeria.
Some facts about Professor Chinua Achebe:
- Born in 1930 – 30 years before Nigeria’s independence.
- Referred to as the founding father of African literature.
- First novel Things Fall Apart, published in 1958, has sold 10 million copies.
- Wrote about the effects of colonialism and corruption.
- Nelson Mandela called him “the writer in whose company the prison walls came down”.
- Met his wife Christie Okoli in Lagos. They married in 1961 and had four children.
- Involved in a road accident in 1990 which left him partially paralyzed.
He was 82.
This is cross-posted at The Black Liberal Boomer Blog.
- The legacy of Chinua Achebe 1930-2013 (indiberlin.com)
- Celebrating a Literary Giant: Rest In Peace, Chinua Achebe! (wholewomannetwork.org)
- Novelist Chinua Achebe dies, aged 82 (guardian.co.uk)