9780393932195

Things Fall Apart (Norton Critical Editions)

Achebe, Chinua

ISBN 10: 0393932192 / 0-393-93219-2
ISBN 13: 9780393932195
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: 2008
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:

Chinua Achebe’s tragic novel of pre-colonial Igbo society was a major literary and cultural event when it was published in 1958.

Written during a period of nationalist assertion and an emerging modern culture in Africa, Things Fall Apart’s influence quickly spread from Nigeria throughout Africa and beyond. In its fifty years, this unforgettable novel has been translated into fifty languages and has been read by millions.

A Chronology of Achebe’s life and work and a Selected Bibliography are also included.

2 maps

Review:
One of Chinua Achebe's many achievements in his acclaimed first novel, Things Fall Apart, is his relentlessly unsentimental rendering of Nigerian tribal life before and after the coming of colonialism. First published in 1958, just two years before Nigeria declared independence from Great Britain, the book eschews the obvious temptation of depicting pre-colonial life as a kind of Eden. Instead, Achebe sketches a world in which violence, war, and suffering exist, but are balanced by a strong sense of tradition, ritual, and social coherence. His Ibo protagonist, Okonkwo, is a self-made man. The son of a charming ne'er-do-well, he has worked all his life to overcome his father's weakness and has arrived, finally, at great prosperity and even greater reputation among his fellows in the village of Umuofia. Okonkwo is a champion wrestler, a prosperous farmer, husband to three wives and father to several children. He is also a man who exhibits flaws well-known in Greek tragedy:
Okonkwo ruled his household with a heavy hand. His wives, especially the youngest, lived in perpetual fear of his fiery temper, and so did his little children. Perhaps down in his heart Okonkwo was not a cruel man. But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness. It was deeper and more intimate than the fear of evil and capricious gods and of magic, the fear of the forest, and of the forces of nature, malevolent, red in tooth and claw. Okonkwo's fear was greater than these. It was not external but lay deep within himself. It was the fear of himself, lest he should be found to resemble his father.
And yet Achebe manages to make this cruel man deeply sympathetic. He is fond of his eldest daughter, and also of Ikemefuna, a young boy sent from another village as compensation for the wrongful death of a young woman from Umuofia. He even begins to feel pride in his eldest son, in whom he has too often seen his own father. Unfortunately, a series of tragic events tests the mettle of this strong man, and it is his fear of weakness that ultimately undoes him.

Achebe does not introduce the theme of colonialism until the last 50 pages or so. By then, Okonkwo has lost everything and been driven into exile. And yet, within the traditions of his culture, he still has hope of redemption. The arrival of missionaries in Umuofia, however, followed by representatives of the colonial government, completely disrupts Ibo culture, and in the chasm between old ways and new, Okonkwo is lost forever. Deceptively simple in its prose, Things Fall Apart packs a powerful punch as Achebe holds up the ruin of one proud man to stand for the destruction of an entire culture. --Alix Wilber

Review

Review:
This is Chinua Achebe's classic novel, with more than two million copies sold since its first U.S. publication in 1969. Combining a richly African story with the author's keen awareness of the qualities common to all humanity, Achebe here shows that he is "gloriously gifted, with the magic of an ebullient, generous, great talent." -- Nadine Gordimer

From the Publisher

Editorial reviews may belong to another edition of this title.
 

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Book Description: WW Norton Co, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 211 x 130 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. This Norton Critical Edition celebrates the 50th anniversary of the publication of Chinua Achebe s Things Fall Apart . The text has been annotated for enhanced comprehension. The expansive Contexts and Criticism section includes three interviews with Chinua Achebe as well as essays and responses on Things Fall Apart and the author, the Igbo/African background, and style and language. A chronology and bibliography are included. Bookseller Inventory # AAW9780393932195

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Book Description: WW Norton Co, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 211 x 130 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. This Norton Critical Edition celebrates the 50th anniversary of the publication of Chinua Achebe s Things Fall Apart . The text has been annotated for enhanced comprehension. The expansive Contexts and Criticism section includes three interviews with Chinua Achebe as well as essays and responses on Things Fall Apart and the author, the Igbo/African background, and style and language. A chronology and bibliography are included. Bookseller Inventory # AAW9780393932195

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Book Description: W. W. Norton & Company. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 598 pages. Dimensions: 8.3in. x 5.1in. x 1.4in.Chinua Achebes tragic novel of pre-colonial Igbo society was a major literary and cultural event when it was published in 1958. Written during a period of nationalist assertion and an emerging modern culture in Africa, Things Fall Aparts influence quickly spread from Nigeria throughout Africa and beyond. In its fifty years, this unforgettable novel has been translated into fifty languages and has been read by millions. A Chronology of Achebes life and work and a Selected Bibliography are also included. 2 maps This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN, Momence,IL, Commerce,GA. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780393932195

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