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A Great Tree Has Fallen: Words of Chinua Achebe Essay

Decent Essays
Chinua Achebe
"Imaginative literature … does not enslave; it liberates the mind of man. Its truth is not like the canons of orthodoxy or the irrationality of prejudice and superstition. It begins as an adventure in self-discovery and ends in wisdom and humane conscience." “The Truth of Fiction” in Hopes and Impediments: Selected Essays 1988
In the mid 20th century Africa was once more starting to find its own voice, having been gagged by centuries of colonial oppression. For all that time the story of Africa had been told by Europeans, and the narrative they presented was a shoddy one. The black man; if in fact a brother was certainly at most a junior sibling. As such, when Africa did eventually open its own mouth to speak, the rest the
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Achebe borrowed themes from his childhood brought up Christian in a traditional Igbo village, forbidden to speak his native language at school.
Things Fall Apart went on to become one of the most important books in African literature, selling over 8 million copies around the world.
In 1960 Achebe published his second book “No Longer at Ease” about Obi Okonkwo, who leaves his village for a British education and a job in the Nigerian colonial civil service. Achebe based this book on his experience in working in Lagos in a country on the threshold of independence.
Achebe continued to write books while working in several positions at the Nigerian Broadcasting Service until the civil war between Nigerian forces and the secessionist Biafra Republic forced Achebe and his family to flee their home. Achebe’s family relocated to the Biafran capital of Aba, during this time Achebe concentrated mainly on his poetry, later stating that the short, intense form was more in keeping with his mood, a consequence of living in a war zone. Achebe was a supporter of Biafran independence and went on a tour of the US to along with fellow writers Cyprian Ekwensi and Gabriel Okara in an effort to raise support for the cause. However in January 1970 the Biafran forces surrendered. The
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