Chinua Achebe

Today, the great Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe died at the age of 82.  If you have never read his books, this would be as good a time as any to do so. Things Fall Apart, published in 1958, is wonderful in its Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe Buffalo_25Sep2008-Stuart-C-Shapiro-wikicommonstelling of the history of Nigeria and British colonialism.  Things, you could say, fell apart.

I borrowed from his book in the titling of my thesis on Newfoundland Mi’kmaq cultural regeneration, “Putting It Back Together.”  The passage from his novel that inspired my choice was, “The white man is very clever… He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.”

Read. Our. Books.

A New Yorker obituary quotes him as having said about African writers and Africa, “Read. Our. Books.” Good advice.

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