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Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe

Albert Chinualumogo Achebe known as Chinua Achebe is one living African writer widely acclaimed for his work in English Literature. Born to Christian evangelical parents he was raised in a town Ogidi,in Igboland, in Eastern Nigeria.

He got his early education in English and the Igbo traditions and colonial legacy played a great part in the growing years of his life. Thereafter, he went to University of Ibadan for further studies where he studied literature and medicine. After completing his graduation, he opted for teaching for a short period, but later on joined the Nigerian Broadcasting company in Lagos as Director of External Broadcasting.

In 1958, his first Novel named Things Fall Apart was published, which describes traditional Igbo life in colonial government in his country. It was translated into more than forty languages and has sold almost eight million copies all over the world. His work revolves around the impact of western values creating social and psychological disorientation. He was one of the most prominent figures in early 50s’ in Nigerian literary Movement.

He skillfully incorporates Igbo words and narratives in his English writing. During his time at radio, he wrote No Longer at Ease and Arrow of God in 1960, and A Man of the People in 1966. A Man of People deals with corruption and got him into trouble, but he managed to escape during the first military coup in his country.

During the BiAfran war of 1966, he left radio. A year later, he and a Nigerian poet Christopher Okigbo founded a publishing company. He went to US with his fellow writers in 1969 where he taught at the University of Massachusetts and the University of Connecticut. On his return, he was appointed Senior Research Fellow at the University of Nigeria.

He was also appointed the Editor of renowned Nigerian literary Magazine, Okike. One of his remarkable achievements includes Iwa ndi Ibo, a bilingual publication of Igbo cultural life, which he founded in 1984. He was honored as Emeritus Professor at University of Nigeria. He also has twenty honorary doctorates to his name from universities all over the world.

In 1987, he was bestowed upon with the Nigerian National Merit Award, which is the country’s highest honor for intellectual achievement. Another achievement was his novel, Anthills of the Savannah, which got short listed for the Booker McConnell Prize in 1987.

Achebe is one writer who has always been involved in his country’s politics through his remarkable work depicting the problems and difficulties faced by his countrymen in the post-colonial era.He now resides in the United States with is wife and four children. He was a professor at University of Bard till 2009 until he moved to become a faculty member at Brown University.

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