(1930-...), is a leading Nigerian author
best known for novels that explore the psychological and social impact of
Western colonialism on traditional African societies. Achebe, who writes in
English, also deals with aspects of African life after Africans gained their
independence from European colonial powers in the mid-1900's. Critics have
praised the simplicity of Achebe's language, his use of proverbs and folklore,
his irony, and his objectivity in presenting complex issues.
Achebe gained international recognition with his first novel, Things Fall Apart
(1958). The work portrays the influence of colonial European missionaries and
government on a west African tribe during the late 1800's. Achebe continued this
theme in the novel Arrow of God (1964). He dealt with late colonial and
postcolonial life in Africa in the novels No Longer at Ease (1960), A Man of the
People (1966), and Anthills of the Savannah (1987).
In addition to his novels, Achebe has published the short-story collections The
Sacrificial Egg (1962) and Girls at War (1973). He has written a number of
children's books, including Chike and the River (1966), How the Leopard Got His
Claws (1972) as coauthor, and The Flute and The Drum (both 1977). His poetry has
been collected in Beware, Soul-Brother (1971) and Christmas in Biafra (1973).
Many of his essays have been published in Morning Yet on Creation Day (1975),
The Trouble with Nigeria (1983), and Hopes and Impediments (1988).
Albert Chinualumogu Achebe was born on Nov. 16, 1930, in Ogidi, Nigeria, which
was then a British colony. He attended University College in Ibadan from 1948 to
1953. Achebe worked in broadcasting in Nigeria from 1954 to 1966 and was
professor of English at the University of Nigeria from 1976 to 1981. He has also
taught at several universities in the United States.