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Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by Kilode1: 5:03am On Mar 23, 2013
We know it will be a while before the sound of the ogenes die down, it is only fitting, a giant Iroko just fell.

This thread will attempt to compile obituaries of the Great Chinua Achebe from various town-criers (Newspapers) across the world. Please post them as you find them.
Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by Kilode1: 5:07am On Mar 23, 2013
[size=14pt]Nigeria's Skeptical Literary Lion[/size] -Wall Street Journal


By DREW HINSHAW

The first book of Albert Chinualumogu Achebe was nearly lost to history when a London typing service dismissed the handwritten manuscript sent from Africa as a joke.


The joke was on them. Finally published in 1958, "Things Fall Apart" became an improbable success, announcing the Nigerian author, and Africa, on the world's literary stage. It went on to sell more than 10 million copies in 50 languages.

"It literally invented African literature," said Simon Gikandi, Kenyan author of "Reading Chinua Achebe."

Mr. Achebe has died, his literary agent confirmed Friday, following a brief illness. He was 82 years old.

"He was a giant, and a wise and kind man," said a statement by John Makinson, chief executive of the Penguin Group, a unit of Pearson PSON.LN +0.43%PLC, Mr. Achebe's last publisher.

Born Nov. 16, 1930, in a roadside town in British Nigeria's rural southeast, Mr. Achebe sought work as a young man in Lagos, the colonial capital, where he wrote his first novel: the tragic story of a champion wrestler reduced to suicide by the arrival of Christian missionaries.


Mr. Achebe wrote his early fiction in the 1950s and 1960s at a hopeful time in African history, when waves of independence inspired young writers to celebrate—and perhaps romanticize—the sunnier aspects of life on the continent. Many sought to capture the grandeur of Africa's landscapes—its rivers and gardens.

Mr. Achebe was more wry and more skeptical of Africa's winds of change. In the novels he wrote, African society could be beautiful but brutal, and always in danger of falling apart.

"He started writing at a moment of great expectations, but his works contained this important cautionary note, that things could go wrong," Mr. Gikandi said.

Soon, they did. Mr. Achebe's 1966 novel "Man of the People" ends with a military coup. Weeks after its publication, Nigerians awoke to learn their military had seized power for the first of six times. Civilians and soldiers alike accused the novelist of enjoying foreknowledge of the coup.

Within months, Nigeria was engulfed in independent Africa's first humanitarian catastrophe: a war for the independence of Mr. Achebe's Igbo homeland that left one million people dead, most of them children who starved. The novelist finally delved into this painful period in his final work, released last year, "There Was a Country."

In 1970, after the conflict ended, he drifted from fiction toward criticism and talent-scouting. As editor of a British publishing house Heinemann's African Writer Series, he edited, published and promoted early entrants into Africa's pantheon of writers: Kenya's Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Ghana's Ayi Kwei Armah, Cameroon's Mongo Beti.

A brief foray into politics campaigning for a political party, prompted him to write 1984's "The Trouble With Nigeria," a 68-page rant against everything from taxi drivers to corruption that op-ed writers still quote from liberally. His country—Africa's most populous—looked to him for guidance. At literary seminars in the U.S., Nigerians would pack the seats and exhaust him with questions about their country's politics—to the dismay of non-Nigerians who had come to discuss literature.

In 1975, he accomplished a feat rare even for authors: He knocked a classic, Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness," from the literary canon. The 1903 novel had been Europe's most commonly read account of Africa, and bristled with depictions of Africans as half-human cannibals. In an influential series of lectures and essays, Mr. Achebe called the author "a thoroughgoing racist." The charge stuck. Steadily, Mr. Conrad's share of university reading lists fell as Mr. Achebe's rose.

In 1990, a car accident in Lagos left Mr. Achebe paralyzed from the waist down, and sent him to Bard College in New York, an easier setting than Nigeria for a wheelchair-constrained author. In 2009, he joined Brown University in Rhode Island. He would live and lecture in the U.S. for the final decades of his life.

By then, "Things Fall Apart" ranked as one of America's most frequently taught high-school books.

Yet its author played down praise. Twice, he rejected Nigeria's second-highest honor, accusing the leaders who award the prize of trying "to turn my homeland into a bankrupt and lawless fiefdom."

When critics credited him with transforming American and European views of Africa, he abstained—he thought they hadn't changed all that much.

But he believed they could. In a 1994 interview, he summarized the driving thought behind his art: "If you don't like someone's story, write your own."


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324103504578376090749421124.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

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Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by Kilode1: 5:12am On Mar 23, 2013
[size=14pt]Chinua Achebe, African Literary Titan, Dies at 82[/size] - NYT



By JONATHAN KANDELL

Published: March 22, 2013


Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian author and towering man of letters whose internationally acclaimed fiction helped to revive African literature and to rewrite the story of a continent that had long been told by Western voices, died on Thursday in Boston. He was 82.



His agent in London said he had died after a brief illness. Mr. Achebe had used a wheelchair since a car accident in Nigeria in 1990 left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Chinua Achebe (pronounced CHIN-you-ah Ah-CHAY-bay) caught the world’s attention with his first novel, “Things Fall Apart.” Published in 1958, when he was 28, the book would become a classic of world literature and required reading for students, selling more than 10 million copies in 45 languages.

The story, a brisk 215 pages, was inspired by the history of his own family, part of the Ibo nation of southeastern Nigeria, a people victimized by the racism of British colonial administrators and then by the brutality of military dictators from other Nigerian ethnic groups.

“Things Fall Apart” gave expression to Mr. Achebe’s first stirrings of anti-colonialism and a desire to use literature as a weapon against Western biases. As if to sharpen it with irony, he borrowed from the Western canon itself in using as its title a line from Yeats’s apocalyptic poem “The Second Coming.”

“In the end, I began to understand,” Mr. Achebe later wrote. “There is such a thing as absolute power over narrative. Those who secure this privilege for themselves can arrange stories about others pretty much where, and as, they like.”

Though Mr. Achebe spent his later decades teaching at American universities, most recently at Brown, his writings — novels, stories, poems, essays and memoirs — were almost invariably rooted in the countryside and cities of his native Nigeria. His most memorable fictional characters were buffeted and bewildered by the competing pulls of traditional African culture and invasive Western values.

“Things Fall Apart,” which is set in the late 19th century, tells the story of Okonkwo, who rises from poverty to become a wealthy farmer and Ibo village leader. British colonial rule throws his life into turmoil, and in the end, unable to adapt, he explodes in frustration, killing an African in the employ of the British and then committing suicide.

The acclaim for “Things Fall Apart” was not unanimous. Some British critics thought it idealized precolonial African culture at the expense of the former empire.

“An offended and highly critical English reviewer in a London Sunday paper titled her piece cleverly, I must admit, ‘Hurray to Mere Anarchy!’ ” Mr. Achebe wrote in “Home and Exile,” a 2000 collection of autobiographical essays. Some critics found his early novels to be stronger on ideology than on narrative interest. But his stature grew, until he was considered a literary and political beacon, influencing generations of African writers as well as many in the West.

“It would be impossible to say how ‘Things Fall Apart’ influenced African writing,” the Princeton scholar Kwame Anthony Appiah once wrote. “It would be like asking how Shakespeare influenced English writers or Pushkin influenced Russians.”

Mr. Appiah, a professor of philosophy, found an “intense moral energy” in Mr. Achebe’s work, adding that it “captures the sense of threat and loss that must have faced many Africans as empire invaded and disrupted their lives.”

Nadine Gordimer, the South African novelist and Nobel laureate, hailed Mr. Achebe in a review in The New York Times in 1988, calling him “a novelist who makes you laugh and then catch your breath in horror — a writer who has no illusions but is not disillusioned.”

Mr. Achebe’s political thinking evolved from blaming colonial rule for Africa’s woes to frank criticism of African rulers and the African citizens who tolerated their corruption and violence. Indeed, it was Nigeria’s civil war in the 1960s and then its military dictatorship in the 1980s and ’90s that forced Mr. Achebe abroad.

In his writing and teaching Mr. Achebe sought to reclaim the continent from Western literature, which he felt had reduced it to an alien, barbaric and frightening land devoid of its own art and culture. He took particular exception to “Heart of Darkness,” the novel by Joseph Conrad, whom he thought “a thoroughgoing racist.”

Conrad relegated “Africa to the role of props for the breakup of one petty European mind,” Mr. Achebe argued in his essay “An Image of Africa.”

“I grew up among very eloquent elders,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press in 2008. “In the village, or even in the church, which my father made sure we attended, there were eloquent speakers.” That eloquence was not reflected in Western books about Africa, he said, but he understood the challenge in trying to rectify the portrayal.

“You know that it’s going to be a battle to turn it around, to say to people, ‘That’s not the way my people respond in this situation, by unintelligible grunts, and so on; they would speak,’ ” Mr. Achebe said. “And it is that speech that I knew I wanted to be written down.”

Albert Chinualumogu Achebe was born on Nov. 16, 1930, in Ogidi, an Ibo village. His father became a Christian and worked for a missionary teacher in various parts of Nigeria before returning to the village. As a student, Mr. Achebe immersed himself in Western literature. At the University College of Ibadan, whose professors were Europeans, he read Shakespeare, Milton, Defoe, Swift, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats and Tennyson. But the turning point in his education was the required reading of “Mister Johnson,” a 1939 novel set in Nigeria and written by an Anglo-Irishman, Joyce Cary.

The protagonist is a docile Nigerian whose British master ultimately shoots and kills him. Like reviewers in the Western press, Mr. Achebe’s white professors praised it as one of the best novels ever written about Africa. But Mr. Achebe and his classmates responded with “exasperation at this bumbling idiot of a character,” he wrote.

He soon joined a generation of West African writers who in the 1950s were coming to the realization that Western literature was holding the continent captive.

A fellow Nigerian, Amos Tutuola, opened the floodgates with his 1952 novel, “The Palm-Wine Drinkard.” After graduating from college in 1953, Mr. Achebe moved to London, where he worked for the British Broadcasting Corporation while writing stories. It was in London that he wrote “Things Fall Apart,” in longhand.

After returning to Nigeria to revise the manuscript, he mailed it — the only existing copy — to a London typing service, which promptly misplaced it, filling Mr. Achebe with despair. It was discovered only months later.

Publishers initially passed on the manuscript, doubting that African fiction would sell, until an adviser at the Heinemann publishing house seized on it as a work of brilliance.

Like most of these writers, Mr. Achebe plumbed the image of village innocence corrupted by the Western-influenced big city.

In his second novel, “No Longer at Ease,” in 1960, he tells the story of Okonkwo’s grandson, Obi, who learns to fit into British colonial society. Raised as a Christian and educated in England, Obi abandons the countryside for a job as a civil servant in Lagos, which was the capital at the time. Cut off from traditional values, he succumbs to greed and in the end is prosecuted for graft.

In his third novel, “Arrow of God” (1964), Mr. Achebe reverts to the setting of an Ibo village in the early 20th century. The village priest, Ezeulu, sends his son, Oduche, to be educated by Christian missionaries in the hope that he will learn British ways and thus help protect his community. Instead Oduche becomes a convert to colonialism and attacks Ibo religion and culture.

The Nigerian civil war, also known as the Biafran war, shattered Mr. Achebe’s hopes for a more promising postcolonial future, and deeply affected his literary output. The scene was set for war when, in January 1966, Ibo army officers killed the prime minister and other officials and seized power. Seven months later, the insurgents were ousted in a counter-coup by military commanders from the Muslim northern region.

Before the year ended, Muslim troops had massacred some 30,000 Ibo people living in the north. In 1967 the Ibo then seceded from Nigeria, declaring the southeastern region the independent Republic of Biafra, and the civil war began in earnest, raging through 1970 until government troops invaded and crushed the secessionists.

Mr. Achebe’s fourth novel, “A Man of the People,” published in early 1966, had predicted this course of events with such accuracy that the military government in Lagos decided he must have been a conspirator in the first coup, an accusation he denied. Mr. Achebe fled, settling in Britain with his wife, Christiana; their two sons, Ikechukwu and Chidi; and two daughters, Chinelo and Nwando. (Information about his survivors was not immediately available.)

After the civil war, Mr. Achebe returned to Nigeria for two years before accepting faculty posts in the 1970s at the University of Massachusetts and the University of Connecticut. He returned home again in 1979 to teach English at the University of Nigeria.

The civil war was the theme of many of his writings during these years. Among the most prominent were a book of poetry, “Beware Soul Brother” (1971), which won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize, and a short-story collection, “Girls at War,” which appeared in 1972.

But for more than 20 years a case of writer’s block kept him from producing another novel. He attributed the dry spell to emotional trauma that had lingered after the civil war.

“The novel seemed like a frivolous thing to be doing,” he told The Washington Post in 1988.

That year Mr. Achebe finally published his fifth novel, “Anthills of the Savannah,” the story of three former school chums in a fictional country modeled after Nigeria. One of them becomes a military dictator; another is appointed minister of information; and the third is named editor of the leading newspaper. All meet violent ends.

The novel was widely admired. Discussing it in 1988 in The New York Review of Books, the Scottish journalist Neal Ascherson wrote: “Chinua Achebe says, with implacable honesty, that Africa itself is to blame, and that there is no safety in excuses that place the fault in the colonial past or in the commercial and political manipulations of the First World.”

Mr. Achebe barely had time to savor the acclaim before the car accident outside Lagos that injured him. He received medical treatment in London and moved to the United States, taking a teaching post at Bard College in the Hudson River valley, where he remained until 2009. He received the Man Booker International Prize for lifetime achievement in 2007. Last fall he published “There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra.”

The return of civilian, democratic rule to Nigeria in 1999 prompted Mr. Achebe to visit for the first time in almost a decade. He met the newly elected president, Olusegun Obasanjo, and cautiously praised him as the best possible leader “at this time.” He also traveled to his native village, Ogidi.

Mr. Achebe returned to the United States, but his heart remained in his homeland, he said.

“People have sometimes asked me if I have thought of writing a novel about America, since I have now been living here some years,” Mr. Achebe wrote in “Home and Exile.” His answer was “that America has enough novelists writing about her, and Nigeria too few.”


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/23/world/africa/chinua-achebe-nigerian-writer-dies-at-82.html?src=me&ref=general&pagewanted=all

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Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by Kilode1: 5:15am On Mar 23, 2013
[size=14pt]Chinua Achebe, the Man Who Put Things Together for Millions, Is Dead[/size] Atlantic wire

Esther Zuckerman
Mar 22, 2013


Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, the author of the landmark novel Things Fall Apart, has died at the age of 82. The Associated Press reports that he had a brief illness.

Achebe's canonical work, the story of an Ibo man named Okonkwo, was published in 1958 and sold at least 10 million copies. Per the AP's Hillel Italie, African scholar Kwame Anthony Appiah once said that it is "impossible" to determine just how much the book has influenced African writing because it would be "like asking how Shakespeare influenced English writers or Pushkin influenced Russians. Achebe didn't only play the game, he invented it." Achebe discussed the book in 2010 with Deborah Solomon of the New York Times Magazine:


It’s a staple of American high-school English classes, and it has supposedly sold more than eight million copies.
That would be possible. I’m not grumbling; I have done well. But don’t imagine I’m a millionaire.

But in addition to writing a classic text himself, Achebe also helped shaped the way we read about Africa in other ways. The Wall Street Journal's obituary notes that in 1975 Achebe was responsible for the decline in influence of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness: "Steadily, Mr. Conrad's share of university reading lists fell as Mr. Achebe's rose."

The push and pull of Western and African cultures was a theme in Achebe's life. The AP's Italie writes: "He spoke of the 'two types of music' running through his mind— Ibo legends and the prose of Dickens." Due to turmoil in his native Nigeria, Achebe often lived away from the country. He became paralyzed from the waist down in 1990 after a car accident

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2013/03/chinua-achebe-dead/63425/

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Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by Kilode1: 5:18am On Mar 23, 2013
[size=14pt]Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe dies at 82[/size] - La Times

His 1958 debut novel, 'Things Fall Apart,' presented European colonization from an African viewpoint and established him as the patriarch of modern African literature.


Nigerian author Chinua Achebe wrote short stories, essays, poetry and children’s books in addition to five novels and edited collections of modern African literature. Nelson Mandela hailed him as the author "who brought Africa to the world." (Mike Cohea / Brown University)


By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
March 23, 2013



JOHNANNESBURG, South Africa — When Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe was in college, a European professor assigned "Mister Johnson," which portrayed Africa as a land of grinning, shrieking savages. Time magazine called it "the best novel ever written about Africa."

Achebe was outraged. He vowed that if someone as ignorant as Joyce Cary, the novel's Anglo-Irish author, could write such a book, "perhaps I ought to try my hand at it."

The result was a masterpiece: "Things Fall Apart," his 1958 debut novel, changed the face of world literature by presenting the colonization of Africa from an African point of view. With more than 10 million copies sold in 50 languages, it established Achebe as the patriarch of modern African literature.

Achebe, who has been praised by Nelson Mandela as the writer who "brought Africa to the world," died Friday in Boston after a brief illness. He was 82.

His death was announced by a government spokesman in Achebe's home state of Anambra.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan called him "a cultural icon" and said that his "frank, truthful and fearless interventions in national affairs will be greatly missed at home in Nigeria."

Achebe wrote short stories, essays, poetry and children's books in addition to five novels and edited collections of modern African literature. Awarded the Man Booker prize for his life's work in 2007, he remains best known for "Things Fall Apart," a complex portrait of colonialism's impact on native Nigerian culture.

Set in a group of Igbo villages in the late 19th century, it focuses on Okonkwo, a man whose family embodies the conflicts between traditional ways and the influence of Western missionaries and colonialists. Its simple, declarative opening line still draws comparisons to Hemingway: "Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond."

Achebe wrote the novel in English, which was also a provocation to some critics who said he should have used the Igbo language, but Achebe wanted to speak not only to Africans but to the world beyond.

What he achieved, critics said, was a marvelous invention in which he imbued English with Igbo rhythms, fables and proverbs. Wole Soyinka, the Nobel Prize-winning Nigerian playwright, hailed "Things Fall Apart" as "the first novel in English which spoke from the interior of an African character rather than … as the white man would see him."

His final book, published last year, was about the Nigerian region of Biafra's unsuccessful war for independence and resulting famine, "There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra."

An ethnic Igbo, Achebe was born Nov. 16, 1930, in Ogidi in southern Nigeria, during an era when missionary influence loomed large and colonialism still held sway.

One of the main preoccupations of the Christian missionaries was to wipe out African culture, which they saw as pagan, superstitious and associated with black magic and witchcraft.

Achebe's parents, Isaiah and Janet, were Protestant converts and had him baptized Albert Chinualumogu Achebe. His name meant "May God Fight On My Behalf." He later dropped his first name.

Although he grew up as a Christian, the ancestral polytheistic faith remained profoundly influential in the community, with many of Achebe's relatives cleaving to their traditions.

At 14 he was accepted into an elite boarding school in southeastern Nigeria, and as a young man he read so much that he was nicknamed "Dictionary." He later won a university scholarship to study medicine.

After a year, he switched to his passion, writing, and studied English, history and theology. That decision was to change his life and the landscape of African literature.

Growing up, he had absorbed Western prejudices so thoroughly that, he later wrote, "I did not see myself as an African to begin with." But in college, it dawned on him that he had given up too much of his identity and could not accept white authors' portrayals of Africans as culturally inferior and subhuman.

In his writings for the student newspaper, he began to find his voice. He started to wonder why his parents converted to Christianity and pondered the conflicts that change brought.

After graduating in 1953 from University College in Ibadan, he worked briefly as a teacher but soon took a job as scriptwriter with the Nigerian Broadcasting Service. He wrote his first novel in his spare time


http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-chinua-achebe-20130323,0,6505392.story

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Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by Kilode1: 5:22am On Mar 23, 2013
[size=14pt]Achebe inspired generations of Nigerian writers[/size] AP and AJC


By KRISTA LARSON

The Associated Press

LAGOS, Nigeria —



Nigerian author Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani was just 10 years old when she first read Chinua Achebe's groundbreaking novel "Things Fall Apart."

She devoured the rich use of Igbo proverbs in his book, which forever changed Africa's portrayal in literature.

That inspiration carried over into the creation of a pivotal character in her debut work, "I Do Not Come to You by Chance," which pulls readers into the dark and greedy world of Nigerian Internet scam artists.

"Like many contemporary Nigerian writers, I grew up on a literary diet that comprised a huge dose of Achebe's works," she said. "My parents were so proud of his accomplishments, and quoted the Igbo proverbs in his books almost as frequently as they quoted Shakespeare."

Achebe's death at the age of 82 was announced Friday by his publisher. His works inspired countless writers around the world, though the literary style of "Things Fall Apart," first published in 1958, particularly transformed the way novelists wrote about Africa.

Adewale Maja-Pearce, a literary critic who succeeded Achebe as the editor of Heinemann's African Writers Series, called him a pioneer whose "contribution is immeasurable."

In breaking with the Eurocentric lens of viewing the continent through the eyes of outsiders, Achebe took readers to a place full of complex characters who told their stories in their own words and style.

Achebe once wrote that a major goal "was to challenge stereotypes, myths, and the image of ourselves and our continent."

He resisted the idea that he was the father of modern African literature, recalling a rich and ancient tradition of storytelling on the continent. Still, his influence on younger writers of the late 20th and early 21st century, particularly those from his homeland, was undeniable.

"Achebe's influence has been completely seminal and inspirational, and there are writers that have been called the School of Achebe who have imitated his style," said Chukwuma Azuonye, professor of African and African Diaspora Literatures at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.

A newer crop of successful novelists with ties to Nigeria has broken away from Achebe's mode, Azuonye said, developing their own modernist style of writing that focuses on clashes of cultures and other issues facing Nigerians abroad.

Among those influenced by Achebe was Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who won the Orange Prize for Fiction for "Half of a Yellow Sun."

On Friday, she released an elegy she had written for Achebe in the Igbo language.

"Something has happened. Something big has happened. Chinua Achebe is gone. A great writer, a man of great wisdom, a man of good heart," she wrote.

"Who are we going to boast about? Who are we going to take out to the world? Who is going to guide us? A storm has passed! Tears fill my eyes.

"Chinua Achebe, go in peace. It is well with you. Go in peace."

Nigerian novelist Lola Shoneyin, whose works include "The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives," says Achebe's fiction gives her something new each time she reads his work.

"In the last five decades, just about every post-colonial African author, one way or another, has been engaged in a creative call-and-response with Chinua Achebe," she said.

Igoni Barrett, the author of a collection of stories called "From Caves of Rotten Teeth," said Achebe had achieved a "saintly status among Nigerian writers" through his pioneering involvement in the African Writers Series.

"Chinua Achebe was an inspiration to me not only for his singular talent and his dedication to truth in art and life, but also because he had the fortitude to overcome the countless disappointments of the Nigerian state," he said.

One of Senegal's best-known novelists, 66-year-old Boubacar Boris Diop, was in high school when he read "Things Fall Apart." He says that in it, he found "the real Africa."

"I systematically advise young authors to read Chinua Achebe. I've often bought copies of 'Things Fall Apart' and offered them to young writers. It's well written — in the sense that it's not written at all. In it, you won't find any great lyrical phrases. That's the great force of this book. It's written in simple language," said Diop.

"He wrote about a continent that is far from perfect, but which at the same time has things within it that fill you with wonder."

___

Larson reported from Dakar Senegal. Associated Press writer Rukmini Callimachi also contributed to this report.

Copyright The Associated Press

http://www.ajc.com/news/ap/entertainment/achebe-inspired-generations-of-nigerian-writers/nW2GR/
Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by Kilode1: 5:24am On Mar 23, 2013
[size=14pt]Novelist Chinua Achebe dies, aged 82[/size] Guardian UK

Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian novelist seen by millions as the father of African literature, has died at the age of 82.

African papers were reporting his death following an illness and hospital stay in Boston this morning, and both his agent and his publisher later confirmed the news to the Guardian.

Simon Winder, publishing director at Penguin, called him an "utterly remarkable man".

"Chinua Achebe is the greatest of African writers and we are all desolate to hear of his death," he said.

In a statement, Achebe's family requested privacy, and paid tribute to "one of the great literary voices of all time. He was also a beloved husband, father, uncle and grandfather, whose wisdom and courage are an inspiration to all who knew him."

A novelist, poet and essayist, Achebe was perhaps best known for his first novel Things Fall Apart, which was published in 1958. The story of the Igbo warrior Okonkwo and the colonial era, it has sold more than 10m copies around the world and has been published in 50 languages. Achebe depicts an Igbo village as the white men arrive at the end of the 19th century, taking its title from the WB Yeats poem, which continues: "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."

"The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers and our clan can no longer act like one," says Okonkwo's friend, Obierika, in the novel.

The poet Jackie Kay hailed Achebe as "the grandfather of African fiction" who "lit up a path for many others", adding that she had reread Things Fall Apart "countless times".

"It is a book that keeps changing with the times, as he did," she said.

Achebe won the Commonwealth poetry prize for his collection Christmas in Biafra, was a finalist for the 1987 Booker prize for his novel Anthills of the Savannah, and in 2007 won the Man Booker international prize. Chair of the judges on that occasion, Elaine Showalter, said he had "inaugurated the modern African novel", while her fellow judge, the South African Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer, said his fiction was "an original synthesis of the psychological novel, the Joycean stream of consciousness, the postmodern breaking of sequence", and that Achebe was "a joy and an illumination to read".

Nelson Mandela, meanwhile, has said that Achebe "brought Africa to the rest of the world" and called him "the writer in whose company the prison walls came down".

The author is also known for the influential essay An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1975), a hard-hitting critique of Conrad in which he says the author turned the African continent into "a metaphysical battlefield devoid of all recognisable humanity, into which the wandering European enters at his peril", asking: "Can nobody see the preposterous and perverse arrogance in thus reducing Africa to the role of props for the break-up of one petty European mind?"

According to Brown University, where Achebe held the position of David and Marianna Fisher university professor and professor of Africana studies until his death, this essay "is recognised as one of the most generative interventions on Conrad; and one that opened the social study of literary texts, particularly the impact of power relations on 20th-century literary imagination".

Born in 1930 in Ogidi, in the south-east of Nigeria, the author won a scholarship to the University of Ibadan, and later worked as a scriptwriter for the Nigeria Broadcasting Service. He chose to write Things Fall Apart in English – something for which he has received criticism from authors including Ngugi wa Thiong'o – but Achebe said he felt "that the English language will be able to carry the weight of my African experience. But it will have to be a new English, still in full communion with its ancestral home but altered to suit its new African surroundings".

His fourth novel, 1966's A Man of the People, anticipated a coup that took place in Nigeria just before the book was first published. "I'd ended the book with a coup," Achebe told the Guardian, "which was ridiculous because Nigeria was much too big a country to have a coup, but it was right for the novel. That night we had a coup. And any confidence we had that things could be put right were smashed. That night is something we have never really got over."

His most recent work was last year's mix of memoir and history There Was a Country, an account of the Nigerian civil war of 1967 to 1970.

Achebe was a supporter of Biafran secession, but after the end of the civil war in 1970 he took what he described as a "sojourn" in politics. There he found that "the majority of people … were there for their own personal advancement", deciding instead to devote himself to academia.

He went on to write what he called a "limited harvest" of five novels – the most recent of which was 1987's Anthills of the Savannah. "I go at the pace of inspiration and what I can physically manage," he said.

In 1990 a car accident in Nigeria left him paralysed from the waist down, and forced his move to the US. "I miss Nigeria very much. My injury means I need to know I am near a good hospital and close to my doctor. I need to know that if I went to a pharmacist, the medicine there would be the drug that the bottle says it is," he said in 2007.

Achebe has twice rejected the Nigerian government's attempt to name him a Commander of the Federal Republic – a national honour – first in 2004, and second in 2011. In 2004 he wrote that "for some time now I have watched events in Nigeria with alarm and dismay. I have watched particularly the chaos in my own state of Anambra where a small clique of renegades, openly boasting its connections in high places, seems determined to turn my homeland into a bankrupt and lawless fiefdom. I am appalled by the brazenness of this clique and the silence, if not connivance, of the presidency … Nigeria's condition today under your watch is, however, too dangerous for silence. I must register my disappointment and protest by declining to accept the high honour awarded me in the 2004 honours list."



http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/mar/22/novelist-chinua-achebe-dies

1 Like

Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by Kilode1: 5:28am On Mar 23, 2013
[size=14pt]Chinua Achebe dies after a brief illness[/size] Bulawayo 24News




Renowned Nigerian author Chinua Achebe has died at the age of 82 after a brief illness, BBC reports.

A statement from his family said his "wisdom and courage" were an "inspiration to all who knew him".

One of Africa's best known authors, his 1958 debut novel Things Fall Apart, which dealt with the impact of colonialism in Africa, has sold more than 10 million copies.

He had been living in the US since 1990 following injuries from a car crash.

The writer and academic wrote more than 20 works - some fiercely critical of politicians and a failure of leadership in Nigeria.


Nelson Mandela referred to Prof Achebe as a writer 'in whose company the prison walls fell down'”


South African writer and Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer called him the "father of modern African literature" in 2007 when she was among the judges to award him the Man Booker International Prize in honour of his literary career.

Things Fall Apart has been translated into more than 50 languages and focuses on the traditions of Igbo society and the clash between Western and traditional values.

The Anambra state government in Nigeria first made the announcement about his death.

Analysts say in Igbo society the death of an important person must be announced by someone in authority.

His home state was in mourning for the death of "the illustrious son of the state, Nigeria and Africa", Mike Udah, spokesman for Anambra state governor Peter Obi, told the BBC.

A statement released on behalf of his family said Mr Achebe was "one of the great literary voices of his time".

"He was also a beloved husband, father, uncle and grandfather, whose wisdom and courage are an inspiration to all who knew him. Professor Achebe's family requests privacy at this time."

Last year, Mr Achebe published a long-awaited memoir about the brutal three-year Biafran war - when the south-eastern Igbo region tried to split from Nigeria in 1967.

After leaving Nigeria, he worked in the US as a professor. His 1990 car accident left him paralysed from the waist down and in a wheelchair.

A statement of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory said it offered its condolences to the Achebe family.

The former South African president and anti-apartheid fighter, who spent 27 years in jail, "referred to Prof Achebe as a writer 'in whose company the prison walls fell down'", the statement said.

http://www.bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-africa-byo-27895.html
Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by Kilode1: 5:37am On Mar 23, 2013
[size=14pt]Chinua Achebe, 'father of modern African literature,' dies at 82[/size] - SinaEnglish News From China





Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe, the revered author of "Things Fall Apart" who has been called the father of modern African literature, has died aged 82, his publisher said on Friday.

"I'm afraid it has been sadly confirmed now," Mari Yamazaki, spokeswoman for Penguin in London, told AFP in an email.

Local media reported that he died in a hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

A statement from the Mandela Foundation in South Africa said he died on Thursday and quoted Nelson Mandela as referring to him as a writer "in whose company the prison walls fell down."

Further details were not yet available, though Yamazaki indicated the family intended to issue a statement later.

Achebe was best known internationally for his 1958 novel "Things Fall Apart," which told of the collision between British colonial rule and traditional Igbo culture in his native southeastern Nigeria.

But he had also been a strident critic of corruption and misrule in Nigeria, where endemic graft has robbed Africa's biggest oil producer of massive sums of public money.

He also strongly backed his native Biafra in Nigeria's 1967-1970 civil war which killed around one million people -- the subject of a long-awaited memoir he published last year.

In 2011, Achebe rejected a Nigerian government offer to honour him with one of the nation's highest awards - at least the second time he had done so.

He had lived and worked as a professor in the United States in recent years, most recently at Brown University in Rhode Island. A 1990 car accident left him in a wheelchair and limited his travel.

"'Things Fall Apart' turned the west's perception of Africa on its head - a perception that until then had been based solely on the views of white colonialists, views that were at best anthropological, at worst, to adopt Achebe's famous savaging of Joseph Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness', 'thorough goingly racist'," the London Guardian wrote in 2007.

South African writer and Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer called Achebe the "father of modern African literature" in 2007, when she was among the judges to award him the Man Booker International prize for fiction.

"Just as we read Shakespeare, it is not possible for any English student to graduate without" reading Achebe, Adeyemi Daramola, head of the University of Lagos English department, told AFP recently.

While he was widely lauded worldwide, Achebe never won the Nobel prize for literature, unlike his fellow Nigerian Wole Soyinka, who became the first African Nobel literature laureate in 1986.

Achebe was born in 1930 the fifth of six children in Ogidi in southeastern Nigeria, where his Igbo ethnic group dominates, and grew up at a time of Christian missionaries and British colonialism.

He described his parents as early converts to Christianity, with his father becoming an Anglican religious teacher and travelling the region with his mother to preach and teach.

In an interview with The Paris Review, he spoke of how his reading evolved and he slowly became aware of how books had cast Africans as savages.

"There is that great proverb - that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter," he said.

"That did not come to me until much later. Once I realised that, I had to be a writer."

He would later attend the University of Ibadan in southwestern Nigeria, the country's oldest and which he described as having rigorous standards at the time.

Achebe worked with the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation before publishing "Things Fall Apart" - his first novel - in 1958.

The seminal novel focuses on a character named Okonkwo and his travails as traditional Igbo culture collides with white colonialists.

It initially met with positive reviews, and its legacy has only grown since then. According to his publisher, more than 10 million copies have been sold in 50 different languages.

Four more novels would eventually follow in addition to other works, including "A Man of the People" and "Anthills of the Savannah."

Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation with some 160 million people, won independence in 1960, but the country's ethnic divisions and corruption led to coups and conflict.

In 1967, Achebe's native east declared independence for the Biafra nation largely in response to massacres of Igbos in the country's north, sparking a brutal civil war.

Control of the country's vast oil resources also played an important role in the war. Many of those killed died from starvation and disease, with a blockade having led to food shortages.

Achebe strongly backed his native Biafra and even toured to speak on its behalf. Echoes of the conflict emerged in his writing, including his collection "Christmas in Biafra and Other Poems."

Last year, he published a long-awaited memoir on the war titled "There Was A Country: A Personal History of Biafra."

Achebe grew frustrated with the massive corruption that has plagued Nigeria, where most of the country still lives on less than $2 per day despite its oil wealth.

He wrote about such issues, and the first sentence of his widely read 1983 essay "The Trouble With Nigeria" is still often cited here.

"The trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership," it reads.

Achebe had limited such commentary in recent years amid health troubles.

However, during January 2012 protests in Nigeria over a fuel price hike, Achebe issued "A Statement of Solidarity with the Nigerian People" that gained attention back home.

His legacy has long been secure in Nigeria but his absence was felt, said Daramola.

"For Achebe to have been away for so long, we have indeed missed him," he said.

(Agencies)


http://english.sina.com/world/p/2013/0322/574374.html
Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by Kilode1: 5:43am On Mar 23, 2013
'Things Fall Apart' author Chinua Achebe dies at 82 (Shia International News Association)



SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, acclaimed in part for his groundbreaking 1958 novel "Things Fall Apart," has died, his British publisher, Penguin Books, said Friday.

He was 82.

An author of more than 20 books, his honors included the 2007 Man Booker International Prize for Fiction.

He was also accorded his country's highest award for intellectual achievement, the Nigerian National Merit Award.

Achebe is a major part of African literature, and is popular all over the continent for his novels, especially "Anthills of the Savannah," which was itself shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1987, and "Things Fall Apart."

The latter was required reading in countless high schools and colleges in the continent, and has been translated into dozens of languages.

Set in precolonial Nigeria, "Things Fall Apart" portrays the story of a farmer, Okonkwo, who struggles to preserve his customs despite pressure from British colonizers. The story resonated in post-independent Africa, and the character became a household name in the continent.

Achebe's stories included proverbs and tackled complex issues of African identity, nationalism and decolonization, adding to his books' popularity.

He once wrote an essay criticizing Joseph Conrad, author of "Heart of Darkness," as a racist for his depiction of Africans as savages. Conrad's popularity took a hit after the accusation -- a testament to Achebe's credibility.

He also criticized corruption and poor governance in Africa, and had been known to reject accolades by the Nigerian government to protest political problems.

Penguin Books' Twitter feed said: "Chinua Achebe: a brilliant writer, and a giant of African literature. Nelson Mandela said he 'brought Africa to the rest of the world'. RIP."

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan issued a statement paying tribute to Achebe as "Nigeria's globally acclaimed writer, scholar, tutor, cultural icon, nationalist and artist of the very first rank."

While Achebe will be greatly missed, Jonathan said, he will live on in the minds of present and future generations through his great works.

He added that Achebe's "frank, truthful and fearless interventions in national affairs will be greatly missed at home ... because while others may have disagreed with his views, most Nigerians never doubted his immense patriotism and sincere commitment to the building of a greater, more united and prosperous nation that all Africans and the entire black race could be proud of."

Biafran War

Born in Nigeria in 1930, Achebe was raised in the large village of Ogidi, one of the first centers of Anglican missionary work in Eastern Nigeria, according to a biography posted by Penguin.

He was an early graduate of the respected University of Ibadan, established in Nigeria before the end of British colonial rule in 1960.

He worked in radio but in 1966 left his post during the national upheaval that led to the bloody Biafran War, in which Nigeria's southeastern provinces attempted to secede.

Achebe joined the Biafran Ministry of Information and represented Biafra on diplomatic and fund-raising missions before the civil war came to an end after two and a half years.

His 2012 memoir, "There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra," draws on his recollections of that painful period in Nigeria's past.

A review by Adam Nossiter for the New York Times talks of how the book gives "glimpses of this immense human tragedy in Achebe's characteristically plain-spoken narrative" but is also "tinged with odd nostalgia for the ephemeral moment when Biafra seemed to birth a national culture."

'Generosity of spirit'

In the course of a long academic career, Achebe took up university posts in Nigeria and overseas, including teaching at Brown University in Rhode Island, where he was professor of Africana Studies, and Bard College in New York.

Leon Botstein, president of Bard College, paid tribute to Achebe as "a brilliant novelist, story-teller, and eloquent voice from the opposite side of Joseph Conrad, with respect to the relationship of the West to Africa."

He also highlighted Achebe's "extraordinary generosity of time and spirit" during more than 20 years as a member of the Bard College community, adding that he will be deeply missed.

"For many, he was considered the father of African literature, and for many of his students, he introduced them to an extraordinary literary tradition," Botstein said. "His importance to literature, and to those he taught and knew personally, will never be forgotten."

In an interview for the Paris Review of Books in 1994, Achebe spoke of how his early love of stories led him to realize that they reflected only the point of view of the white man. That spurred him to write himself.

"There is that great proverb -- that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter. ... Once I realized that, I had to be a writer. I had to be that historian," he said.

"It's not one man's job. It's not one person's job. But it is something we have to do, so that the story of the hunt will also reflect the agony, the travail -- the bravery, even, of the lions."
Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by Kilode1: 5:54am On Mar 23, 2013
[size=14pt]Chinua Achebe: Writer, critic, social historian[/size] -Brown University


March 22, 2013  


Chinua Achebe, the David and Marianna Fisher University professor and professor of Africana studies at Brown University, died in Boston Thursday evening, March 21, 2013.

Achebe, among the world’s greatest writers of his time, joined the Brown faculty in the fall of 2009.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University learned this morning of the death of Chinua Achebe in Boston Thursday evening, March 21, 2013.

Achebe, the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and professor of Africana studies, joined the Brown faculty in September 2009.

Best known for his novels and essays which critique postcolonial Nigerian politics and society as well as the impact of the West on Africa, Achebe was widely acknowledged as “godfather” to a generation of African writers.

His first novel, Things Fall Apart, is the most widely read work of African fiction, having sold more than 12 million copies in English alone. It has been translated into 50 languages.

Among his activities at Brown was the annual Achebe Colloquium on Africa, an international gathering of scholars, policymakers, elected officials, writers, and others with a shared interest in current-day African affairs.


“The colloquia he organized at Brown attracted a grand array of guests and effectively demonstrated how the humanities can build understanding by drawing from and encouraging a variety of perspectives,” said Brown University President Christina H. Paxson. “We were honored to have him among us.”

“Professor Achebe’s contribution to world literature is incalculable,” said Brown President Emerita Ruth J. Simmons, who led the University when Achebe came to Brown. “Millions find in his singular voice a way to understand the conflicting opportunities and demands of living in a post-colonial world.

The courageous personal and artistic example he offered will never be extinguished. Brown is fortunate to have been his home.”

From Corey D.B. Walker, associate professor and chair of the Department of Africana studies:

He was more than just a colleague, faculty member, and teacher at Brown. He was a gift to the world. We are very privileged to have had him with us for the last four years and even more so for allowing us to get close to him and his family.

At a time like this we could draw many words of wisdom and comfort from the deep wells of various African cultures and traditions to honor him. The most fitting is the simple and elegant phrase, “A great tree has fallen.”

Indeed, the passing of Chinua Achebe is an event of global significance. The entire faculty and staff in the Department of Africana Studies share in the celebration of the great life that is Chinua Achebe.

From Anani Dzidzienyo, associate professor of Africana studies and Portuguese and Brazilian studies:

Part of his impact was that he was always a part of Africana studies. His presence in the department affirmed our intellectual mission and strengthened our commitment and dedication to Africana studies. Indeed, his presence was powerful. When he was first appointed, a friend told me we had captured history and planted it in Churchill House.

He brought the whole history of contemporary African writing to Brown from the time when he wrote Things Fall Apart to the present. His name symbolizes the themes and issues that characterize African societies and cultures.

His presence at Brown is something we could not have imagined before it happened. He was an inspiration to us and our students. As a student remarked, “It is incredible that he is here with us.”

In the spirit of Ghanian proverbs, and by implication African proverbs, I leave these words for contemplation: “The path crosses the river and the river crosses the path. Which came first, the path or the river?”


May you travel well, Professor Achebe.


During his time at Brown, Achebe convened four colloquia:

The 2012 Achebe Colloquium focused on the security situation throughout northern, central, and eastern Africa; ethno-religious insurgency and regime change in West Africa; and peace-building efforts taking place in southern Africa.

The 2011 Achebe Colloquium explored the Arab Spring and the crisis in Darfur.

The 2010 Achebe Colloquium focused on three African nations — Rwanda, Congo, and Nigeria — and the crucial issues impacting those countries, the continent, and the world.

The inaugural 2009 Achebe Colloquium addressed the problems and prospects of the 2010 Nigerian elections.

University flags are flying at half-staff, and the University will plan an appropriate memorial in celebration of Achebe’s life and work.
Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by Akshow: 6:40am On Mar 23, 2013
Op for real you expect us to read all this? All this story is boring. Rip the father of African literature will suffice. Abeg Na when be naija match
Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by iamswizz(m): 9:25am On Mar 23, 2013
rip sir.


I wanted to quote the whole post, but i know sey una go swear 4 me.

2 Likes

Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by condralbede(m): 9:37am On Mar 23, 2013
Rest in the bossom of the lord chinua achebe.....honestly things have finally fallen apart!Adiu
Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by naptu2: 9:44am On Mar 23, 2013
On behalf of our Chairperson, Board of Trustees and staff of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, we would like to offer our condolences to the family of Prof. Chinua Achebe, a great African writer and thinker, who passed away on 21 March 2013 at the age of 82.

Nelson Mandela referred to Prof. Achebe as a writer “in whose company the prison walls fell down”.

-Sello Hatang

3 Likes

Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by aze(m): 9:49am On Mar 23, 2013
God bless you for these compilation. All these show that the man, Chinua Achebe is well recognized and respected worldwide for his literary works. Again, God bless you. Adieu papa.





Kilode?!:
We know it will be a while before the sound of the ogenes die down, it is only fitting, a giant Iroko just fell.

This thread will attempt to compile obituaries of the Great Chinua Achebe from various town-criers (Newspapers) across the world. Please post them as you find them.
Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by Nobody: 9:52am On Mar 23, 2013
RIP Chinua Achebe!
Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by Itoroetti(m): 10:07am On Mar 23, 2013
rip ete ekondo.ndito akwa ibom ye cross river eya umiss fien
Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by erniok(m): 10:08am On Mar 23, 2013
After reading how the world all over eulogizes this man, I wonder why some folks here vilify him. Indeed, a prophet is never honored in his hometown

8 Likes

Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by RedLight1: 10:08am On Mar 23, 2013
achebe this, achebe that *yawnz* getting boring already

R.i.p to him
let the dead rest o ye nairaland frontpage sad
Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by mysticgal(f): 10:16am On Mar 23, 2013
mehn a long intresting eulogy of chinua achebe,though long and kindda stresfull,but i learnt something..names of his kids and wife.
Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by naptu2: 10:18am On Mar 23, 2013
Wole Soyinka and J.P. Clark's joint statement on Achebe's death

https://www.nairaland.com/1234384/achebes-death-joint-statement-soyinka
Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by chucky234(m): 10:25am On Mar 23, 2013
A man who pays respect to the great
paves way for his own greatness.
Chinua
Achebe
#Legendary Legacies

3 Likes

Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by chucky234(m): 10:25am On Mar 23, 2013
″A man who pays respect to the great
paves way for his own greatness.″- Chinua
Achebe #Legendary Legacies
Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by Maxymilliano(m): 10:34am On Mar 23, 2013
Nigerian Author Chinua Achebe Dead at 82

March 22, 2013

VOA News

World-renowned Nigerian author and dissident Chinua Achebe, best known for his 1958 novel "Things Fall Apart," has died.

The 82-year-old's death was confirmed by his publisher on Friday.

During a career that spanned decades, Achebe, hailed by many as the "father of modern African literature," wrote novels, stories and essays on the history of his native country.

It was in his 20s that he completed "Things Fall Apart" about a Nigerian tribesman's downfall at the hands of British colonialists.

The book marked one of the first times the story of European colonialism had been told from an African perspective. The novel helped make Achebe a literary idol for many Africans and a bridge between Africa and the West.

"Things Fall Apart" has been translated into more than 50 languages, selling more than 8 million copies worldwide.

Achebe, who was paralyzed from the waist down after a car accident in 1990, lived in the United States in recent years but never stopped calling for democracy in Nigeria.

In 2007, he won the prestigious Man Booker International Prize for lifetime achievement - a $120,000 honor.

"It feels good to be acknowledged at any time," said Achebe. "I say this, I hope it applies to other writers, but as far as I'm concerned, I write to be read, to be acknowledged. In other words, it means that what I've written has made some impact somewhere.''

http://www.voanews.com/a/1626625.html
Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by Maxymilliano(m): 10:42am On Mar 23, 2013
Nigerian literary icon Chinua Achebe is dead

By BBC and ARICA REVIEW Writer

Friday, March 22 2013 at 14:57

Rumours started flying before midday Friday that he was dead. About 10 minutes to 3pm (+3GMT), BBC announced on Twitter that Chinua Achebe was dead, quoting officials.

Shortly, his London publisher confirmed the news.

Achebe, 82, was a towering African icon.

He was, without question, Africa’s foremost writer.

Achebe’s novels stand tall in Africa’s literary pantheon. Things Fall Apart, his first published novel, is the most widely read African novel in the English language. It was also the most widely translated.

The renowned Nigerian author reportedly died after a brief illness.

A statement from his family said his "wisdom and courage" were an "inspiration to all who knew him".

Things Fall Apart , published in 1958, dealt with the impact of colonialism in Africa and has sold more than 10 million copies.

He had been living in the US since 1990 following injuries from a car crash.

The writer and academic wrote more than 20 works - some fiercely critical of politicians and a failure of leadership in Nigeria.

South African writer and Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer called him the "father of modern African literature" in 2007 when she was among the judges to award him the Man Booker International Prize in honour of his literary career.

Illustrious son

Things Fall Apart has been translated into more than 50 languages and focuses on the traditions of Igbo society and the clash between Western and traditional values.

The Anambra state government in Nigeria first made the announcement about his death.

Analysts say in Igbo society the death of an important person must be announced by someone in authority.

His home state was in mourning for the death of "the illustrious son of the state, Nigeria and Africa", Mike Udah, spokesman for Anambra state governor Peter Obi, told the BBC.

A statement released on behalf of his family said Mr Achebe was "one of the great literary voices of his time".

"He was also a beloved husband, father, uncle and grandfather, whose wisdom and courage are an inspiration to all who knew him. Professor Achebe's family requests privacy at this time."

Last year, Prof Achebe published a long-awaited memoir about the brutal three-year Biafran war - when the south-eastern Igbo region tried to split from Nigeria in 1967.

After leaving Nigeria, he worked in the US as a professor. His 1990 car accident left him paralysed from the waist down and in a wheelchair.

A statement of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory said it offered its condolences to the Achebe family.

The former South African president and anti-apartheid fighter, who spent 27 years in jail, "referred to Prof Achebe as a writer 'in whose company the prison walls fell down'", the statement said.

http://www.africareview.com/News/Nigerian-literature-icon-Chinua-Achebe-is-dead/-/979180/1727706/-/7eyu05z/-/index.html
Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by Maxymilliano(m): 10:48am On Mar 23, 2013
Chinua Achebe Dead: 'Things Fall Apart' Author Dies

March 22, 2013 08:23:08

Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian author of Things Fall Apart, is dead according to a report published by the BBC. Born in 1930, he was aprominent writer and academic, and also a vocal critic of corruption in Nigerian politics. His final book, There Was A Country, was published last year and detailed his participation in the failed state of Biafra, which ended in 1970.

His most famous masterpiece, Things Fall Apart , published in 1958, was set in an Igbo village in Nigeria, and highlighted the clashes between colonialism and traditional culture. It went on to sell more than 10 million copies around the world, and was translated into 50 languages.

His 1975 lecture "Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's "Heart of Darkness", later published in 1977, became controversial for his description of Joseph Conrad as "a thorough going racist."

Achebe was most recently a visiting professor at Brown University.

Rumors had spread earlier this month that he had already died, but Nigeria's Daily Post confirmed that, although the rumors were not true, his health was failing.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/blackberry/p.html?id=2931437
Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by Nobody: 11:16am On Mar 23, 2013
Akshow: Op for real you expect us to read all this? All this story is boring. Rip the father of African literature will suffice. Abeg Na when be naija match
From your post, you have just told us your mental age!
You don't have to comment on every thread please!

1 Like

Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by Afam4eva(m): 11:25am On Mar 23, 2013
clue:
From your post, you have just told us your mental age!
You don't have to comment on every thread please!

[size=13pt]+1000[/size]
Re: Chinua Achebe's Obituaries - A Compilation by Classicalman(m): 11:25am On Mar 23, 2013
I am indeed amazed after reading all these eulogies pouring from all over the world. It also amazes me how one man's book can influence a whole continent, nay the entire world. Prof Chinualumogu Albert Achebe remains one of the greatest Africans ever. He will forever remain my mentor.

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