Author: Chinua Achebe (1930-)
First Published: 1958
My Edition: Anchor Books 50th Anniversary (pictured at left)
Other Works Include: No Longer at Ease (1960), Arrow of God (1964), A Man of the People (1966), Anthills of the Savannah (1987)
Alphabetically, this is the very first book listed on my Book List page. And ever since I finished Germinal by Zola way back in December 2009, I have been wanting to read this one solely so the first and last books were done. Stupid? Most likely.
In any case, this book has remained unread for quite some time since I made that promise to myself. For the longest time I didn't have a copy, and neither bookstore within super close proximity to my apartment had a copy (weird, isn't it?). I finally found a copy a few months ago, and like quite a few others recently, it has been living on my nightstand. And, like the others, I started to feel bad it was collecting dust, and I determined I must read it.
Part of me is scared to begin this. To be quite honest, I read a LOT of Western literature and very little outside of that comfort zone. I don't purposely choose to read that way, but I am just not knowledgeable about literature beyond the U.S., Europe, and Australia. But, I am going to remedy that in the future, since there are a lot of wonderful books out there I have yet to discover!
In any case, I don't actually know too much about this one. I've never read it, or anything else by Achebe (even though I just picked up his 2009 collection of essays). I am intrigued though, especially since this is a book in the district I teach in that is used in one of their classes. Hopefully I'll like it!
As far as non-Western literature goes, Achebe is very accessible. His post-colonial themes are less intense then say, Ngugi's. Things Fall Apart is a beautiful and tragic story - well worth the read. Plus, it's not too hefty, so it does not drag on.ReplyDelete
God speed, my friend. I hated this one.ReplyDelete
I totally get that- reading the first and last book- it gives another kind of feeling of achievement. Things fall Apart is on my bookshelf waiting tbr. If you're interested in other African Literature I can recommend two books and authors J.M. Coetzee especially his book Disgrace. And Dalene Matthee - all her books are great but Circles in the Forest is my favourite- I hope the translation is as good as the original Afrikaans.ReplyDelete
It may be helpful to think of this as a response to Conrad's "Heart of Darkness." I also recommend reading Achebe's great essay that discusses Western attitudes towards Africa: http://kirbyk.net/hod/image.of.africa.htmlReplyDelete
I loved "Things Fall Apart," and hope you enjoy it, too!
This is a really good book. I admit, I hated it for the first half, but the second half really hit home for me and made the first half make sense.ReplyDelete
Don't be afraid! I think this is a good place to begin w postcolonial African lit; not to say that Achebe, um, spoonfeeds the reader, but he's pretty accessible. Also, if you're interested in nonfic related to African lit, I highly recomend an essay collection I just ifnished: In My Father's House!ReplyDelete