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Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles

by Richard Dowden Chinua Achebe

After a lifetime's close observation of the continent, one of the world's finest Africa correspondents has penned a landmark book on life and death in modern Africa. In captivating prose, Dowden spins tales of cults and commerce in Senegal and traditional spirituality in Sierra Leone; analyzes the impact of oil and the internet on Nigeria and aid on Sudan; and examines what has gone so badly wrong in Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Congo. From the individual stories of failure and success comes a surprising portrait of a new Africa emerging--an Africa that, Dowden argues, can only be developed by its own people. Dowden's master work is an attempt to explain why Africa is the way it is and calls for a re-examination of the perception of Africa as "the dark continent." He reveals it as a place of inspiration and tremendous humanity.

The African Trilogy: Things Fall Apart; Arrow of God; No Longer at Ease

by Chinua Achebe Kwame Anthony Appiah

Chinua Achebe is considered the father of modern African literature, the writer who "opened the magic casements of African fiction." The African Trilogy--comprised of Things Fall Apart, Arrow of God, and No Longer at Ease--is his magnum opus. In these masterly novels, Achebe brilliantly imagines the lives of three generations of an African community as their world is upended by the forces of colonialism from the first arrival of the British to the waning days of empire.The trilogy opens with the groundbreaking Things Fall Apart, the tale of Okonkwo, a hero in his village, whose clashes with missionaries--coupled with his own tragic pride--lead to his fall from grace. Arrow of God takes up the ongoing conflict between continuity and change as Ezeulu, the headstrong chief priest, finds his authority is under threat from rivals and colonial functionaries. But he believes himself to be untouchable and is determined to lead his people, even if it is towards their own destruction. Finally, in No Longer at Ease, Okonkwo's grandson, educated in England, returns to a civil-service job in Lagos, only to see his morality erode as he clings to his membership in the ruling elite. Drawing on the traditional Igbo tales of Achebe's youth, The African Trilogy is a literary landmark, a mythic and universal tale of modern Africa. As Toni Morrison wrote, "African literature is incomplete and unthinkable without the works of Chinua Achebe. For passion, intellect and crystalline prose, he is unsurpassed."

Anthills of the Savannah

by Chinua Achebe

Chris, Ikem and Beatrice are like-minded friends working under the military regime of His Excellency, the Sandhurst-educated President of Kangan. In the pressurized atmosphere of oppression and intimidation they are simply trying to live and love - and remain friends. But in a world where each day brings a new betrayal, hope is hard to cling on to. Anthills of the Savannah (1987), Achebe's candid vision of contemporary African politics, is a powerful fusion of angry voices. It continues the journey that Achebe began with his earlier novels, tracing the history of modern Africa through colonialism and beyond, and is a work ultimately filled with hope.

Arrow of God (African Trilogy #2)

by Chinua Achebe

The second novel in Chinua Achebe's masterful African trilogy, following Things Fall Apart and preceding No Longer at Ease Regarded by Chinua Achebe as his greatest achievement, Arrow of God is a tale of the generation that came after Okonkwo as they took up their own struggle between continuity and change. Ezeulu, the headstrong chief priest of the god Ulu, is worshipped by the six villages of Umuaro. But his authority is increasingly under threat--from rivals within his tribe, from functionaries of the colonial government, and even from his own family members. Yet he believes himself to be untouchable: surely he is an arrow in the bow of his God? Armed with this belief, he is prepared to lead his people, even if it is towards their own destruction. But his people will not be dominated so easily. Spare and powerful, Arrow of God is an unforgettable portrayal of the loss of faith, and the downfall of a man in a society forever altered by colonialism.

Chike and the River

by Chinua Achebe

The more Chike saw the ferry-boats the more he wanted to make the trip to Asaba. But where would he get the money? He did not know. Still, he hoped.Eleven-year-old Chike longs to cross the Niger River to the city of Asaba, but he doesn't have the sixpence he needs to pay for the ferry ride. With the help of his friend S.M.O.G., he embarks on a series of adventures to help him get there. Along the way, he is exposed to a range of new experiences that are both thrilling and terrifying, from eating his first skewer of suya under the shade of a mango tree, to visiting the village magician who promises to double the money in his pocket. Once he finally makes it across the river, Chike realizes that life on the other side is far different from his expectations, and he must find the courage within him to make it home. Chike and the River is a magical tale of boundaries, bravery, and growth, by Chinua Achebe, one of the world's most beloved and admired storytellers.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Collected Poems

by Chinua Achebe

A collection of poetry spanning the full range of the African-born author's acclaimed career has been updated to include seven never-before-published works, as well as much of his early poetry that explores such themes as the African consciousness, the tragedy of Biafra, and the mysteries of human relationships.

Devil on the Cross

by Chinua Achebe Namwali Serpell Ngugi Wa Thiong'O

The great Kenyan writer and Nobel Prize nominee Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s powerful fictional critique of capitalismOne of the cornerstones of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s fame, Devil on the Cross was written in secret, on toilet paper, while Ngũgĩ was in prison. It tells the tragic story of Wariinga, a young woman who moves from a rural Kenyan town to the capital, Nairobi, only to be exploited by her boss and later by a corrupt businessman. As she struggles to survive, Wariinga begins to realize that her problems are only symptoms of a larger societal malaise and that much of the misfortune stems from the Western, capitalist influences on her country. An impassioned cry for a Kenya free of dictatorship and for African writers to work in their own local dialects, Devil on the Cross has had a profound influence on Africa and on post-colonial African literature.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

The Education of a British-Protected Child

by Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe is one of the towering figures in world literature, whose writing forged new ways of expression and overturned perceptions of Africa permanently. This unprecedented volume of autobiographical essays, many of which have never been published before, is one of his most powerful and personal works to date. The pieces here span reflections on personal and collective identity, on home and family, on literature, language and politics, and on Achebe's lifelong attempt to reclaim the definition of 'Africa' for its own authorship. For the first thirty years of his life, before Nigeria's independence in 1960, Achebe was officially defined as a 'British Protected Person'. In 'The Education of a British-Protected Child' he gives us a vivid, ironic and delicately nuanced portrait of growing up in colonial Nigeria and inhabiting its 'middle ground', interrogating both his happy memories of reading English adventure stories in secondary school and also the harsher truths of colonial rule. In some pieces Achebe's extraordinary family come to the fore, such as 'My Dad and Me' and 'My Daughters'. Here too are writings on Achebe's complex and often tense relationship with his native land over the last half-century, such as 'What is Nigeria to Me?', which criticizes the failures of the post-colonial nation. There are also many opinionated and heartfelt political pieces tackling racism and the world's view of Africa, such as 'Travelling White', describing his experiences of segregation on buses in Rhodesia, and 'Africa is People', a positive call for the West to cancel Third World debt. Infused with wry, self-deprecating wit, honesty and passion, these writings give us a new and unique insight into Achebe the writer, and the man.

La flecha de Dios

by Chinua Achebe

Ezeulu, el sumo sacerdote del dios Ulu, es reverenciado en las seis aldeas de Umuaro, pero empieza a ver amenazada su autoridad por sus rivales de la tribu, por el gobierno de los blancos e incluso por su propia famila. Sin embargo, se siente intocable: ¿acaso no es él la flecha en el arco de su dios? Armado con sus creencias, está dispuesto a dirigir a su pueblo aunque eso conlleve destruir y aniquilar, pero quizá el pueblo no se deje dominar tan fácilmente.«El escritor en cuya compañía cayeron los muros de la prisión.»NELSON MANDELA

Girls at War

by Chinua Achebe

Twelve stories by the internationally renowned novelist which recreate with energy and authenticity the major social and political issues that confront contemporary Africans on a daily basis.

Un hombre del pueblo

by Chinua Achebe

odili, un maestro de escuela, visita a su antiguo maestro, el jefe Nanga, convertido ahora en el todopoderoso y corrupto ministro de Cultura. La riqueza y el prestigio de Nanga seducen a la novia de Odili; para vengarse, Odili empieza a insinuarse a la prometida de Nanga, y se involucra en la formación de un partido opositor. Cuando triunfe un golpe de estado militar, Nanga caerá en desgracia y Odili se convertirá en el nuevo todopoderoso y corrupto ministro.«Muchos de nosotros vivimos, o hemos vivido, bajo regímenes cuya moralidad nadie ha descrito mejor que Chinua Achebe en su novela Un hombre del pueblo.»NADINE GORDIMER

Home and Exile

by Chinua Achebe

More personally revealing than anything Achebe has written, "Home and Exile"--the great Nigerian novelist's first book in more than ten years--is a major statement on the importance of stories as real sources of power, especially for those whose stories have traditionally been told by outsiders. In three elegant essays, Achebe seeks to rescue African culture from narratives written about it by Europeans. Looking through the prism of his experiences as a student in English schools in Nigeria, he provides devastating examples of European cultural imperialism. He examines the impact that his novel "Things Fall Apart" had on efforts to reclaim Africa's story. And he argues for the importance of writing and living the African experience because, he believes, Africa needs stories told by Africans.

Hopes and Impediments: Selected Essays

by Chinua Achebe

One of the most provocative and original voices in contemporary literature, Chinua Achebe here considers the place of literature and art in our society in a collection of essays spanning his best writing and lectures from the last twenty-three years. For Achebe, overcoming goes hand in hand with eradicating the destructive effects of racism and injustice in Western society. He reveals the impediments that still stand in the way of open, equal dialogue between Africans and Europeans, between blacks and whites, but also instills us with hope that they will soon be overcome.From the Trade Paperback edition.

A Man of the People

by Chinua Achebe

From the renowned author of The African Trilogy, a political satire about an unnamed African country navigating a path between violence and corruption As Minister for Culture, former school teacher M. A. Nanga is a man of the people, as cynical as he is charming, and a roguish opportunist. When Odili, an idealistic young teacher, visits his former instructor at the ministry, the division between them is vast. But in the eat-and-let-eat atmosphere, Odili's idealism soon collides with his lusts--and the two men's personal and political tauntings threaten to send their country into chaos. When Odili launches a vicious campaign against his former mentor for the same seat in an election, their mutual animosity drives the country to revolution. Published, prophetically, just days before Nigeria's first attempted coup in 1966, A Man of the People is an essential part of Achebe's body of work dealing with modern African history.

Me alegraría de otra muerte

by Chinua Achebe

Obi Okonkwo es un joven idealista que, gracias a los privilegios de haberse formado en Inglaterra, regresa a Nigeria para trabajar en la administración pública. Sin embargo, se encuentra con un gobierno que opera con maniobras sucias y sobornos. Cuando -para disgusto de sus padres- se enamora de la muchacha equivocada, se sumerge en un caos emocional y económico. El dinero fácil es ahora irrechazable, y Obi cae en una trampa de la que le resultará muy difícil escapar.«La literatura africana sería impensable y estaría incompleta sin las obras de Chinua Achebe. En pasión, intelecto y prosa cristalina, no hay escritor que lo haya superado.»TONI MORRISON

No Longer at Ease

by Chinua Achebe

The second book in Achebe's "African trilogy": A classic story of personal and moral struggle as well as turbulent social conflict. When Obi Okonkwo--grandson of Okonkwo, the main character in Things Fall Apart--returns to Nigeria from England in the 1950s, his foreign education separates him from his African roots. He's become a part of a ruling elite whose corruption he finds repugnant. Forced to choose between traditional values and the demands of a changing world, he finds himself trapped between the expectations of his family, his village, and the larger society around him. With unequaled clarity and poignancy, Chinua Achebe's No Longer at Ease remains a brilliant statement of the challenges facing Nigeria today.

Termiteros de la sabana

by Chinua Achebe

Chris, Ikem y Beatrice son tres estudiantes que comparten opiniones políticas y tratan de sobrevivir bajo la dictadura de un presidente educado en una academia militar británica. Unidos por la lucha contra la tiranía, la relación entre los tres jóvenes da un giro radical cuando cambia el régimen político y Chris y Beatrice pasan a trabajar para el gobierno, mientras que Ikem se convierte en redactor de un periódico opositor. Pero en un mundo en que cada nuevo día conlleva una nueva traición, Beatrice se niega a rendirse y a renunciar a la esperanza.«Un libro sabio, estimulante y necesario, un poderoso antídoto a los comentaristas cínicos que, desde la otra orilla, jamás ven que salga nada nuevo de África.»Financial Times

There Was a Country: A Memoir

by Chinua Achebe

From the legendary author of Things Fall Apart—a long-awaited memoir of coming of age in a fragile new nation, and its destruction in a tragic civil warFor more than forty years, Chinua Achebe has maintained a considered silence on the events of the Nigerian civil war, also known as the Biafran War, of 1967–1970, addressing them only obliquely through his poetry. Now, decades in the making, comes a towering account of one of modern Africa’s most disastrous events, from a writer whose words and courage have left an enduring stamp on world literature. A marriage of history and memoir, vivid firsthand observation and decades of research and reflection, There Was a Country is a work whose wisdom and compassion remind us of Chinua Achebe’s place as one of the great literary and moral voices of our age.

There Was A Country

by Chinua Achebe

From the legendary author of Things Fall Apart comes this long-awaited memoir recalling Chinua Achebe's personal experiences of and reflections on the Biafran War, one of Nigeria's most tragic civil warsChinua Achebe, the author of Things Fall Apart, was a writer whose moral courage and storytelling gifts have left an enduring stamp on world literature. There Was a Country was his long-awaited account of coming of age during the defining experience of his life: the Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War of 1967-1970. It became infamous around the world for its impact on the Biafrans, who were starved to death by the Nigerian government in one of the twentieth century's greatest humanitarian disasters. Caught up in the atrocities were Chinua Achebe and his young family. Achebe, already a world-renowned novelist, served his Biafran homeland as a roving cultural ambassador, witnessing the war's full horror first-hand. Immediately after the war, he took an academic post in the United States, and for over forty years he maintained a considered silence on those terrible years, addressing them only obliquely through his poetry. After years in the making There Was a Country presents his towering reckoning with one of modern Africa's most fateful experiences, both as he lived it and eventually came to understand it. Marrying history and memoir, with the author's poetry woven throughout, There Was a Country is a distillation of vivid observation and considered research and reflection. It relates Nigeria's birth pangs in the context of Achebe's own development as a man and a writer, and examines the role of the artist in times of war. Reviews:'No writer is better placed than Chinua Achebe to tell the story of the Nigerian Biafran war . . . [The book] makes you pine for the likes of Achebe to govern . . . We have in There Was a Country an elegy from a master storyteller who has witnessed the undulating fortunes of a nation' Noo Saro-Wiwa, Guardian'Chinua Achebe's history of Biafra is a meditation on the condition of freedom. It has the tense narrative grip of the best fiction. It is also a revelatory entry into the intimate character of the writer's brilliant mind and bold spirit. Achebe has created here a new genre of literature' Nadine Gordimer'Part-history, part-memoir, [Achebe's] moving account of the war is laced with anger, but there is also an abiding tone of regret for what Nigeria might have been without conflict and mismanagement' Sunday TimesAbout the author:Chinua Achebe was born in Nigeria in 1930. He published novels, short stories, essays, and children's books. His volume of poetry, Christmas in Biafra, was the joint winner of the first Commonwealth Poetry Prize. Of his novels, Arrow of God won the New Statesman-Jock Campbell Award, and Anthills of the Savannah was a finalist for the 1987 Booker Prize. Things Fall Apart, Achebe's masterpiece, has been published in fifty different languages and has sold more than ten million copies. Achebe lectured widely, receiving many honors from around the world, amongst them the Nigerian National Merit Award, Nigeria's highest award for intellectual achievement. In 2007, he won the Man Booker International Prize. He died in March 2013.

Things Fall Apart

by Chinua Achebe

THINGS FALL APART tells two overlapping, intertwining stories, both of which center around Okonkwo, a "strong man" of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first of these stories traces Okonkwo's fall from grace with the tribal world in which he lives, and in its classical purity of line and economical beauty it provides us with a powerful fable about the immemorial conflict between the individual and society. The second story, which is as modern as the first is ancient, and which elevates the book to a tragic plane, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo's world through the arrival of aggressive, proselytizing European missionaries. These twin dramas are perfectly harmonized, and they are modulated by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul. THINGS FALL APART is the most illuminating and permanent monument we have to the modern African experience as seen from within. [This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 9-10 at]

Things Fall Apart (Adapted)

by Chinua Achebe Sandra Widner

Achebe's first novel portrays the collision of African and European cultures in people's lives. Okonkwo, a great man in Igbo traditional society, cannot adapt to the profound changes brought about by British colonial rule. Yet, as in classic tragedy, Okonkwo's downfall results from his own character as well as from external forces.

Things Fall Apart and Related Readings

by Chinua Achebe

A book containing Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and other great poems, stories and essays.

Things Fall Apart, with Connections

by Chinua Achebe

The classic novel Things Fall Apart along with related materials: a poem, interviews, a speech, fables, a short story, and a short biography of Achebe.

Things Fall Apart, with Related Readings

by Chinua Achebe

For use in teaching literature to high school students.

Todo se desmorona

by Chinua Achebe

Okonkwo es un gran guerrero, cuya fama se extiende por todo el África Occidental, pero al matar por accidente a un prohombre de su clan es obligado a expiar su culpa con el sacrificio de su hijastro y el exilio. Cuando por fin puede regresar a su aldea, la encuentra repleta de misioneros y gobernadores británicos. Su mundo se desmorona, y él no puede más que precipitarse hacia la tragedia. Esta apasionada parábola sobre un hombre orgulloso que, desamparado, presencia la ruina de su pueblo fue publicada en 1958, y desde entonces ha vendido más de diez millones de ejemplares en cuarenta y cinco idiomas.«Sus sólidas obras sobre la vida que fue destruida a consecuencia del mandato colonial son modélicas como reconstrucciones históricas y también como pruebas de su maestría estilística.»WOLE SOYINKA

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