Chinua Achebe - One of the Most Influential Writers of Modern African Literature

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Chinua Achebe: A Key Figure in African Literature

Amongst many other things, Chinua Achebe was a poet, critic, and novelist. He is widely regarded as a key figure in the development of modern African literature. His debut novel Things Fall Apart remains one of the most widely read African novels.

Early Life

Known as one of the most influential writers of modern African literature, Chinua Achebe was born in 1930 in Ogidi, Nigeria. He studied at the University of Nigeria and later became a member of the Nigerian Broadcasting Service, where he served as a director of External Broadcasting for twelve years.

Achievements and Recognition

During his life, Achebe served on the faculty at numerous universities in Nigeria and the United States. He was also an influential critic, author, and poet. His works have been published in more than 30 countries and he has received numerous honorary degrees. He has been awarded the Commonwealth Poetry Prize and the Nigerian National Order of Merit. Achebe's novels focus on the tradition of Igbo society.

The Father of Contemporary African Literature

He is considered to be the father of contemporary African literature. His novels address the conflicts between traditional ways of life and new ways of life. The complex and deep structures of his narratives are often overlooked.


During the early days of Nigeria's independence, Chinua Achebe was a British Protected Person. He was a native of the Igbo town of Ogidi in eastern Nigeria. He was born in 1930. He grew up as a Christian. His parents were missionary teachers. Chinua Achebe began learning English at the age of eight.

Nigerian Civil War and Literary Achievements

He attended University College Ibadan. After graduation, Chinua Achebe began work for the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation. He met his future wife, Chinwe Okoli, at the Nigerian Broadcasting Service. They married in 1961. They had two sons. Chinua Achebe moved to the United States in 1970. Then in 1990, he was partially paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident in Lagos.

During the Nigerian civil war, Achebe published Christmas in Biafra. He won the first Commonwealth Poetry Prize for the work. He was also awarded the Nigerian National Trophy for Literature. He also wrote Anthills of the Savannah, which was shortlisted for the Booker McConnell Prize. Achebe published several collections of short stories in the early 1970s.


Throughout his five novels, Chinua Achebe focuses on the cultural and political clash between indigenous African societies and Western ways. Achebe's novels are acclaimed for their innovative fusion of native Ibo idioms and for their balanced examinations of contemporary African politics.

In Achebe's fifth novel, Anthills of the Savannah, the main character, Obierika, is a man of action and reflection who can observe society's laws with skepticism. He also embodies the traditional wisdom of the Igbo people.

The novel is a depiction of the effects of power on society. Three childhood friends, one of whom is the political heir to a powerful governmental post, hold positions of power that are critical to the political life of their country.

Achebe also uses traditional proverbs to convey insight into human experience. These proverbs reveal assessments of clan elders, and give a broader meaning to the texts. Achebe's use of proverbs to punctuate his texts with insight is a practice that continues into his provincial novels.


Known for his novels and short stories, Chinua Achebe is also a writer of poems. His work is often rich and subtle, containing themes such as culture, religion and moral vision. In addition to poems, Achebe also writes children's books and essays. His work has been analyzed extensively.

Chinua Achebe's poems were published in several collections, including Things Fall Apart (1958), Christmas in Biafra and Other Poems (1973), Beware, Soul Brother (Poems) (1971), and Another Africa (1998). Achebe's work has been published in various countries, including the United States. His poems have won various awards. Achebe received the Man Booker International Prize and was also awarded the Nigerian National Merit Award. Achebe was also a professor at Brown University.

Chinua Achebe's poem 'Vultures' describes the commandant of a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. The poem is written in free verse, which is a form of poetry that is not consciously structured. The poem is written in four uneven stanzas. The first stanza describes the vulture as perching high on the broken bones of a dead tree.


Known for his 1958 novel Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe is one of the most prolific African writers of the 20th century. He has a unique style that relies heavily on the oral tradition of his native Igbo people. His work examines the effects of colonialism on African societies. In addition to novels, Achebe has written short stories, poetry, and children's books. He is the author of four novels in less than ten years.

Things Fall Apart is the novelist's best-known work and one of the most read novels in modern African literature. It exposes readers to realistic accounts of modern African life. The novel follows the life of an Ibo leader named Okonkwo.

It has been translated into more than forty languages. The novel is considered a literary classic. In addition to Things Fall Apart, Achebe has also written a number of children's books. His other works include Beware, Soul Brother and Other Poems, Arrow of God, and No Longer at Ease.

November 28, 2022




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