Chinua Achebe books in order
Albert Chinualumogu Achebe, popularly known as Chinua Achebe, was a renowned multiple award-winning Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic.
Born in Ogidi in eastern Nigeria, he attended University College, presently known as the University of Ibadan, where he studied English and Literature.
He released his debut novel, Things Fall Apart, in 1958, a book that has not only sold over 20 million copies so far, but has also been translated into more than 50 languages across the globe.
Achebe had a teaching stint before joining the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation, serving as the director of external broadcasting between 1961 and 1966.
He served in various faculty positions during the 1970s, working at the University of Massachusetts, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Nigeria.
Achebe received multiple awards for his works, like the Man Booker International Prize (2007) and the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize (2010), on top of receiving honorary degrees from over 30 universities from all over the world.
He died on March 21, 2013, in Boston, Massachusetts, at the age of 82.
Genres: History, Literary Fiction
- A Man of the People (1966)
- Anthills of the Savannah (1987)
- Things Fall Apart (1958)
- No Longer at Ease (1960)
- Arrow of God (1964)
- Winds of Change (Edited by Chinua Achebe) (1977)
- African Short Stories (Edited by Chinua Achebe) (1987)
- The Heinemann Book of Contemporary African Short Stories (Edited by Chinua Achebe and Lynn Innes) (1992)
- Chike and the River (1966)
- Girls At War (1972)
- Beware, Soul Brother (1972)
- Things Fall Apart: and Related Readings (1996)
- Collected Poems (2004)
- Morning Yet on Creation Day (1975)
- The Trouble with Nigeria (1984)
- Hopes and Impediments (1988)
- Conversations with Chinua Achebe (1997)
- Another Africa (1998)
- Home and Exile (2000)
- The Education of a British Protected Child (2009)
- An Image of Africa / The Trouble With Nigeria (2010)
- Critical Insights: Things Fall Apart (2012)
- There Was A Country (2012)
- Africa's Tarnished Name (2018)
- Things Fall Apart / Their Eyes Were Watching God / Half of a Yellow Sun (2018)
- How the Leopard Got His Claws (1972)
- The Flute (1977)
Detailed book overview
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.
In the fictional West African nation of Kangan, newly independent of British rule, the hopes and dreams of democracy have been quashed by a fierce military dictatorship. Chris Oriko is a member of the president's cabinet for life, and one of the leader's oldest friends.
When the president is charged with censoring the opportunistic editor of the state-run newspaper--another childhood friend--Chris's loyalty and ideology are put to the test. The fate of Kangan hangs in the balance as tensions rise and a devious plot is set in motion to silence a firebrand critic.
Things Fall Apart is the first of three novels in Chinua Achebe's critically acclaimed African Trilogy. It is a classic narrative about Africa's cataclysmic encounter with Europe as it establishes a colonial presence on the continent. Told through the fictional experiences of Okonkwo, a wealthy and fearless Igbo warrior of Umuofia in the late 1800s, Things Fall Apart explores one man's futile resistance to the devaluing of his Igbo traditions by British political andreligious forces and his despair as his community capitulates to the powerful new order.
With more than 20 million copies sold and translated into fifty-seven languages, Things Fall Apart provides one of the most illuminating and permanent monuments to African experience. Achebe does not only capture life in a pre-colonial African village, he conveys the tragedy of the loss of that world while broadening our understanding of our contemporary realities.
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. No Longer at Ease, the third and concluding novel in Chinua Achebe’s The African Trilogy, depicts the uncertainties that beset the nation of Nigeria, as independence from colonial rule loomed near.
In Obi Okonkwo’s experiences, the ambiguities, pitfalls, and temptations of a rapidly evolving society are revealed. He is part of a ruling Nigerian elite whose corruption he finds repugnant. His fate, however, overtakes him as he finds himself trapped between the expectation of his family, his village—both representations of the traditional world of his ancestors—and the colonial world.
A story of a man lost in cultural limbo, and a nation entering a new age of disillusionment, No Longer at Ease is a powerful metaphor for his generation of young Nigerians.
Set in the Igbo heartland of eastern Nigeria, one of Africa's best-known writers describes the conflict between old and new in its most poignant aspect: the personal struggle between father and son.
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.
Capturing the diversity of African writing from across the continent, this important anthology draws together well-established authors and the best of new writers.
From the harsh realities of South Africa, elegantly described by Nobel Prize winner Nadine Gordimer, to the fantastic world of Booker Prize winner Ben Okri and from the magic realism of Mozambican Mia Couto to the surreal world of Ghanaian Kojo Laing, the editors have distilled the essence of contemporary African writing. Blending the supernatural and the secular, the market-place and the shrine, this anthology gives the reader a taste of the full range of African literary styles.
"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.
Girls at War and Other Stories reveals the essence of life in Nigeria and traces twenty years in the literary career of one of this century's most acclaimed writers. In this collection of stories, Chinua Achebe takes us inside the heart and soul of a people whose pride and ideals must compete with the simple struggle to survive. Hailed by critics everywhere, Chinua Achebe's fiction re-creates with energy and authenticity the major issues of daily life in Africa.
Chinua Achebe's award-winning poems are marked by a subtle richness and the political acuity and moral vision that are a signature of all of his work. Focused and powerful, and suffused with wisdom and compassion, Collected Poems is further evidence of this great writer's sublime gifts and it is an essential part of the oeuvre of a giant of world literature.
“The price a world language must be prepared to pay is submission to many different kinds of use. The African writer should aim to use English in a way that brings out his message best without altering the language to the extent that its value as a medium of international exchange will be lost. He should aim at fashioning out an English which is at once universal and able to carry his peculiar experience.”
― Chinua Achebe, Morning Yet on Creation Day: Essays.
The eminent African novelist and critic, here addresses Nigeria's problems, aiming to challenge the resignation of Nigerians and inspire them to reject old habits which inhibit Nigeria from becoming a modern and attractive country. In this famous book now reprinted, he professes that the only trouble with Nigeria is the failure of leadership, because with good leaders Nigeria could resolve its inherent problems such as tribalism; lack of patriotism; social injustice and the cult of mediocrity; indiscipline; and corruption.
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.
Achebe often has been called the inventor of the African novel. Although he modestly denies the title, it is true that modern African literature would not have flowered so rapidly and spectacularly had he not led the way by telling Africa's story from a distinctively African point of view. Many other Africans have been inspired to write novels by his example.
The interviews collected here span more than thirty years of Achebe's writing career. The earliest was recorded in 1962, the latest in 1995. Together they offer a representative sample of what he has said to interviewers for newspapers, journals, and books in many different countries. Through his own statements we can see Achebe as a man of letters, a man of ideas, a man of words.
As these interviews show, Achebe is an impressive speaker and gifted conversationalist who expresses his ideas in language that is simple yet pungent, moderate yet peppered with colorful images and illustrations. It is this talent for deep and meaningful communication, this intimate way with words, that makes his interviews a delight to read. He has a facility for penetrating to the essence of a question and framing a response that addresses the concerns of the questioner and sometimes goes beyond those concerns to matters of general interest.
Another Africa is a book that fuses photographs, poetry, and text to create a view of present-day Africa that moves beyond the stereotypes commonly held by most westerners: an open-air ethnographic museum, a continent in constant turmoil, a vast expanse of beautiful sand dunes and tropical savannas where herds of wildlife roam.
This work peels away myths to explore the complexity, diversity, and human dimensions of a place called Africa--one that celebrates the commonplace and exotic simultaneously. The photographs are highly subjective, a personal investigation that reflects the sensibilities, formal concerns, and the ongoing engagement of the photographer in this part of the world.
With the brilliant Chinua Achebe--a Nigerian--contributing his poems and an essay, the book takes on a further and critical dimension. He presents a concise view of Africa today, including the individual and political issues facing its countries. He deals with Africa on its own terms--from within, not from an outsider's perspective.
Powerful and deeply personal, these three essays by the great Nigerian author articulate his mission to rescue African culture from the narratives written by Europeans. Looking through the prism of his experiences as a student in English schools in Nigeria, he recalls his first encounters with European perspectives on Africa in the works of Joyce Cary and Elspeth Huxley. He examines the impact that his novel Things Fall Apart—as well as fellow Nigerian Amos Tutola’s The Palm-Wine Drinkard and Jomo Kenyatta’s Facing Mt. Kenya, among other works—had on efforts to reclaim Africa's story. He confronts the persistence of colonial views of Africa. And he argues for the importance of living and writing the African experience: Africa needs stories told by Africans.
Chinua Achebe's characteristically measured and nuanced voice is everywhere present in these seventeen beautifully written pieces. In a preface, he discusses his historic visit to his Nigerian homeland on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Things Fall Apart, the story of his tragic car accident nearly twenty years ago, and the potent symbolism of President Obama's election.
In 'The Education of a British-Protected Child,' Achebe gives us a vivid portrait of growing up in colonial Nigeria and inhabiting its 'middle ground,' recalling both his happy memories of reading novels in secondary school and the harsher truths of colonial rule. In 'Spelling Our Proper Name,' Achebe considers the African-American diaspora, meeting and reading Langston Hughes and James Baldwin, and learning what it means not to know 'from whence he came.' The complex politics and history of Africa figure in 'What Is Nigeria to Me?,' 'Africa's Tarnished Name,' and 'Politics and Politicians of Language in African Literature.' And Achebe's extraordinary family life comes into view in 'My Dad and Me' and 'My Daughters,' where we observe the effect of Christian missionaries on his father and witness the culture shock of raising 'brown' children in America.
Charmingly personal, intellectually disciplined, and steadfastly wise, The Education of a British-Protected Child is an indispensable addition to the remarkable Achebe oeuvre.
Beautifully written yet highly controversial, An Image of Africa asserts Achebe's belief in Joseph Conrad as a 'bloody racist' and his conviction that Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness only serves to perpetuate damaging stereotypes of black people. Also included is The Trouble with Nigeria, Achebe's searing outpouring of his frustrations with his country. GREAT IDEAS. Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.
Introductory essays reflect on Achebe’s pioneering achievement and evaluate the enduring, international popularity of Things Fall Apart. A brief biography follows, and a quartet of new essays provide a framework for in-depth study. The essays survey major trends in criticism of the novel and discuss Achebe’s masterful use of language. Also included is a comparison of Things Fall Apart to major literary works within the Western canon, such as the Odyssey and the Iliad. Other essays discuss the depiction of gender, the presentation of cultural violence, and the portrayal of colonization within the novel.
For more than forty years, Chinua Achebe 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. Decades in the making, There Was a Country is a towering account of one of modern Africa’s most disastrous events, from a writer whose words and courage 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.
"He needed to hear Africa speak for itself after a lifetime of hearing Africa spoken about by others."
Electrifying essays on the history, complexity, diversity of a continent, from the father of modern African literature.
Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavor. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.
This is a 3-book collection set.
Things Fall Apart
Okonowo is the greatest warrior alive. His fame has spread like a bushfire in West Africa and he is one of the most powerful men of his clan. But he also has a fiery temper. Determined not to be like his father, he refuses to show weakness to anyone - even if the only way he can master his feelings is with his fists. When outsiders threaten the traditions of his clan, Okonowo takes violent action. Will the great man's dangerous pride eventually destroy him?
Their Eyes Were Watching God
When Janie, at sixteen, is caught kissing shiftless Johnny Taylor, her grandmother swiftly marries her off to an old man with sixty acres. Janie endures two stifling marriages before meeting the man of her dreams, who offers not diamonds, but a packet of flowering seeds...
Half of a Yellow Sun
Ugwu, a boy from a poor village, works as a houseboy for a university professor. Olanna, a young woman, has abandoned her life of privilege in Lagos to live with her charismatic new lover, the professor. And Richard, a shy English writer, is in thrall to Olanna’s enigmatic twin sister. As the horrific Biafran War engulfs them, they are thrown together and pulled apart in ways they had never imagined.
In the beginning, all the animals lived as friends. Their leopard king was strong but gentle and wise. Only Dog had sharp teeth and lived as an outsider before attacking the leopard and taking over as king — until the angry leopard returned to regain his throne by force with his own threatening new claws.
In a riveting fable for young readers about the potency and dangers of power taken by force, Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe, author of Things Fall Apart, evokes his frequent themes of liberation and justice. Glowing with vibrant color, Mary GrandPré’s expressive and action-filled paintings bring the unforgettable tale to dramatic life.