Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe (1958)

1960s: Days of Rage


Things Fall Apart is the debut novel by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, first published in 1958. Its story chronicles pre-colonial life in the southeastern part of Nigeria and the arrival of Europeans during the late 19th century. It is seen as the archetypal modern African novel in English, and one of the first to receive global critical acclaim. It is a staple book in schools throughout Africa and is widely read and studied in English-speaking countries around the world. The novel was first published in the UK in 1962 by William Heinemann Ltd., and became the first work published in Heinemann’s African Writers Series. The novel follows the life of Okonkwo, an Igbo (‘Ibo’ in the novel) man and local wrestling champion in the fictional Nigerian clan of Umuofia. The work is split into three parts, with the first describing his family, personal history, and…

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