Chinua Achebe ( / / ⓘ; born Albert Chinụalụmọgụ Achebe; 16 November 1930 – 21 March 2013) was a Nigerian novelist, poet, and critic who is regarded as a central figure of modern African literature. His first novel and magnum opus, Things Fall Apart (1958), occupies a pivotal place in African literature and remains the most widely studied, translated, and read African novel. Along with Things Fall Apart, his No Longer at Ease (1960) and Arrow of God (1964) complete the "African Trilogy". Later novels include A Man of the People (1966) and Anthills of the Savannah (1987). In the West, Achebe is often referred to as the "father of African literature", although he vigorously rejected the characterization.
Born in Ogidi, Colonial Nigeria, Achebe's childhood was influenced by both Igbo traditional culture and postcolonial Christianity. He excelled in school and attended what is now the University of Ibadan, where he became fiercely critical of how Western literature depicted Africa. Moving to Lagos after graduation, he worked for the Nigerian Broadcasting Service (NBS) and garnered international attention for his 1958 novel Things Fall Apart. In less than 10 years he would publish four further novels through the publisher Heinemann, with whom he began the Heinemann African Writers Series and galvanized the careers of African writers, such as Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o and Flora Nwapa. ( Full article...)