Late Nigerian writer, Chinua Achebe would have turned 87 today and Google is celebrating the icon. Most famous for his classic ‘Things Fall Apart’, the novelist was born November 16 1930 and has been called the father of modern African literature by many.
Nadine Gordimer, South African writer and Nobel Laureate, was the first to call him the father of modern African literature in 2007 when he was awarded the Man Booker International prize for fiction. This is because prior to his death in March 2o13, Achebe paved the ways for a new generation of African writers.
Achebe’s African novel, ‘Things Fall Apart’, is considered a classic as it is the most widely read modern African story. Achebe’s ability to tell the native Nigerian story in a way that resonates with readers all around the world is stupendous and formidable. A car accident which took place in 1990 left Achebe in a wheelchair.
Chinua Achebe will be remembered for a number of things but his insistence on not telling the African story through the African eyes and not the West’s is definitely at the top of the list. ‘Things Fall Apart’, which is an example of this, has been translated into over 50 languages and has been bought more than 80 million times.
Achebe spent the last years of his life working as a professor in the United States.
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