• Chinua Achebe

    Things Fall Apart

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    The most widely read book in modern African literature tells two overlapping, intertwining stories, both of which center around a fearless Igbo warrior in Nigeria in the late 1800s, before and after the European colonization of the continent.

    “African literature is incomplete and unthinkable without the works of Chinua Achebe.” —Toni Morrison

    The first of these stories traces Okonkwo's fall from grace with the tribal world in which he lives, and in its classical purity of line and economical beauty it provides us with a powerful fable about the immemorial conflict between the individual and society. The second story, which is as modern as the first is ancient, and which elevates the book to a tragic plane, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo's world through the arrival of aggressive, proselytizing European missionaries. These twin dramas are perfectly harmonized, and they are modulated by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul. THINGS FALL APART is the most illuminating and permanent monument we have to the modern African experience as seen from within.

    Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read.