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  1. #1

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    Chinua Achebe, 1930-2013

    from the Guardian (UK):

    Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian novelist seen by millions as the father of African literature, has died at the age of 82.

    African papers were reporting his death following an illness and hospital stay in Boston this morning, and both his agent and his publisher later confirmed the news to the Guardian.
    and

    A novelist, poet and essayist, Achebe was perhaps best known for his first novel Things Fall Apart, which was published in 1958. The story of the Igbo warrior Okonkwo and the colonial era, it has sold more than 10m copies around the world and has been published in 50 languages. Achebe depicts an Igbo village as the white men arrive at the end of the 19th century, taking its title from the WB Yeats poem, which continues: "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."

    "The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers and our clan can no longer act like one," says Okonkwo's friend, Obierika, in the novel.

    The poet Jackie Kay hailed Achebe as "the grandfather of African fiction" who "lit up a path for many others", adding that she had reread Things Fall Apart "countless times".

    "It is a book that keeps changing with the times, as he did," she said.
    the Guardian obituary

    the New York Times obit

    article from The Guardian (Nigeria)

  2. #2
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    Aw, that's sad. Although ... I have to admit I thought he'd died a while ago!

    I just re-read Things Fall Apart recently as part of a job I was working on (English teacher resource on indigenous literature). It really is a fabulous novel that stands the test of time.

    RIP.

  3. #3
    Mad for mangelwurzels
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    He was truly a great writer. Things Fall Apart had quite a profound effect on me. Loved Anthills of the Savannah too.

    RIP.
    I hear outside a million panicking birds, and know even out there comfort is done with; it has shattered even the stars, this creature at last come home to me.

  4. #4
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    I had a great multi-cultural literature class in high school where we read a number of his works. He was a fabulous writer.

    I also got to hear him speak, and at an age when I was too young to appreciate it. I don't have fond memories of that evening... Wish I could have gone as an adult instead.

  5. #5
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    Incredible writer and a real inspiration.

  6. #6

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    I read Things Fall Apart in a Commonwealth Literature class (OK, it was a while ago), and it made a huge impact on me. He was an incredible writer.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  7. #7

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    Awww

  8. #8
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    I was re-reading Things Fall Apart just yesterday. Incredible psychological depth in his characters as well as mysterious insights into the spirituality of pre-colonized West African culture.

    Rest in Peace

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