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Achebe’s Things Fall Apart Named One Of 50 Most Influential Books Of Last 50 Yrs - Literature - Nairaland

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Achebe’s Things Fall Apart Named One Of 50 Most Influential Books Of Last 50 Yrs by Mekky2010: 8:22am On May 21, 2012
By SaharaReporters, New York

Things Fall Apart, the classic novel by Africa’s foremost novelist Chinua Achebe, has been named one of the “fifty most influential books of the last 50 years.”

The selection was made by a group called “SuperScholar.” Achebe’s first novel, published in 1958 and translated into more than sixty languages, is one of several novels by other world acclaimed writers. Other novels on the list include Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses, Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Achebe, who is the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University in Providence, RI, is the author of five novels, several volumes of poetry as well as essay collections. His latest book, There Was A Country: A Personal History of Biafra, will be published in September, 2012.

50 Most Influential Books of the Last 50 (or so) Years

In compiling the books on this list, the editors at SuperScholar have tried to provide a window into the culture of the last 50 years. Ideally, if you read every book on this list, you will know how we got to where we are today. Not all the books on this list are “great.” The criterion for inclusion was not greatness but INFLUENCE. All the books on this list have been enormously influential.

The books we chose required some hard choices. Because influence tends to be measured in years rather than months, it’s much easier to put older books (published in the 60s and 70s) on such a list than more recent books (published in the last decade). Older books have had more time to prove themselves. Selecting the more recent books required more guesswork, betting on which would prove influential in the long run.

We also tried to keep a balance between books that everyone buys and hardly anyone reads versus books that, though not widely bought and read, are deeply transformative. The Grateful Dead and Frank Zappa never sold as many records as some of the “one-hit wonders,” but their music has transformed the industry. Influence and popularity sometimes don’t go together. We’ve tried to reflect this in our list.


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