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Things Fall Apart Writer Chinua Achebe Dies at 82

Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian novelist credited with helping to develop African literature, has died at 82.

Achebe wrote novels, poetry and essays, and is most famous for his first novel Things Fall Apart, published in 1958. Things Fall Apart has sold more than 10 million copies and is one of the great novels of the 20th century. The title is taken from a WB Yeats poem and the colonial-themed plot concerns the arrival of white men in a rural village. He wrote the book in English but was widely criticised in Africa for doing so.

Things Fall Apart, No Longer at Ease and Arrow of God are sometimes described as The African Trilogy.

Born in 1930, The author won the Commonwealth poetry prize for his collection Christmas in Biafra. He was a finalist for the 1987 Man Booker prize for Anthills of the Savannah, and he won 2007 Man Booker international prize. In 1975, he famously called Joseph Conrad “a bloody racist.”

Things Fall Apart is the most widely read African book of all time and it has been translated into around 50 languages.

Achebe was a professor of Africana studies at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, until his death. He left Nigeria in 1990 after a car accident left him paralysed from the waist down and moved to the US.

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