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Chinua Achebe Books In Order

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Publication Order of African Trilogy Books

Things Fall Apart (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
No Longer at Ease (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
Arrow of God (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

A Man of the People (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Anthills of the Savannah (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Publication Order of Collections

Things Fall Apart and Related Readings (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
Girls at War and Other Stories (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Beware Soul Brother (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Christmas in Biafra and Other Poems (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Collected Poems (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Children's Books

Chike and the River (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
How the Leopard Got His Claws (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Drum (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Flute (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Morning Yet on Creation Day (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Trouble with Nigeria (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hopes and Impediments (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
The University and the Leadership Factor in Nigerian Politics (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Critical Fictions (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Beyond Hunger In Africa (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Things Fall Apart with Connections (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Africa's Tarnished Name (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Conversations with Chinua Achebe (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Another Africa (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Home and Exile (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
An Image of Africa (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Africa: A Short History (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Education of a British-Protected Child (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
There Was a Country (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Winds of Change(1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
African Short Stories(1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Heinemann Book of Contemporary African Short Stories(1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
PEN America Issue 2: Home and Away(2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Opening Worlds(2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Anchor Book of Modern African Stories(2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rotten English: A Literary Anthology(2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Four Continents(2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Gods and Soldiers(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pen America: A Journal for Writers and Readers: 13 Lovers(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon

Chinua Achebe
Chinua Achebe (born Albert Chinualumogu Achebe on November 16, 1930) was a Nigerian poet, novelist, and critic. He is best known for “Things Fall Apart”, his first novel, which is the most widely read book in all of modern Africa.

His dad, Isaiah, was an evangelist and a teacher, and his mom, was a blacksmith’s daughter, vegetable farmer, and a leader among church women.

Storytelling was a mainstay of the Igbo tradition and was an integral part of the community. Achebe’s sister and mom told him a ton of stories during his childhood, which he repeatedly requested.

His education was furthered by the collages that his dad hung on the walls of their home, along with numerous books and almanacs, including a prose adaptation of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and an Igbo retelling of Bunyan’s “The Pilgrim’s Progress. Chinua eagerly anticipated traditional village events, like the frequent masquerade ceremonies, which he’d later recreate in stories and novels he wrote.

While working as a teacher, he encouraged his students to read extensively and be original in their own work. The students never had access to the papers he read as a student, so Chinua made his own available in class. He taught in Oba for four months, before leaving for Lagos to work for the Nigerian Broadcasting Service in 1954. Working here helped him to master the subtle nuances between spoken and written language, a skill that aided him later on to write realistic dialogue.

After returning the Nigeria, he worked on editing and revising his manuscript for what would become “Things Fall Apart”, which he titled after a line in a poem by W. B. Yeats, called “The Second Coming”. He cut out the second and third parts of the book, which left just the story of this yam farmer called Okonkwo who lives during Nigeria’s colonization, and he struggles with his dad’s own debtor legacy. He added some sections, improved on existing chapters, and restructured his prose.

Chinua, in 1957, sent off his only copy of this handwritten manuscript (including the £22 fee) to this typing service in London he’d seen an ad for in The Spectator. He didn’t get a reply from this service, so he asked Angela Beattie (his boss at the NBS) to visit the company and ask after it during some travels in London. She did, and demanded angrily to know why it was just sitting around ignored in the corner of their office. The company soon sent up a typed up copy to Chinua. Her intervention was vital to his ability to keep working as a writer. He’d probably have gotten so discouraged as to have quit entirely.

He sent his manuscript the next year to the agent that Gilbert Phelps had recommended to him in London. The manuscript was sent around to various publishing houses, some of whom rejected it instantly, and claimed fiction penned by African writers offered up no market potential. Heinemann executives read his manuscript and hesitated in their decision to publish his book. An educational adviser, named Donald MacRae, read the book and told the company it was the best novel he’d read since the war. So Heinemann published 2,000 copies in hardcover on June 17, 1958.

He died after a short illness in Boston, Massachusetts on March 21, 2013 at the age of 82. He was ill and had to be hospitalized in the city, according to a source close to the family.

“Things Fall Apart” is the first novel in the “Africa” series and was released in 1958. This is the classic narrative about Africa’s cataclysmic encounter with Europe while it establishes a colonial presence on the continent. Told through the experiences of a fearless and wealthy Igbo warrior of Umuofia, named Okonkwo, during the late 1800s, this explores one man’s futile resistance to the devaluing of his Igbo traditions by British political and religious forces and his own despair while his community capitulates to the powerful new order.

Translated into fifty-seven languages and with 20 million copies sold, this provides one of the permanent and most illuminating monuments to the African experience. Chinua not only captures life in a pre-colonial African village, but he’s also able to convey the loss of this world as he broadens our own understanding of our contemporary realities.

Nominated by PBS’s “The Great American Read” as being one of America’s best loved novels.

“No Longer At Ease” is the second novel in the “Africa” series and was released in 1960. When Obi Okonkwo, the grandson of Okonkwo, returns to Nigeria from England during the 1950s, his foreign education leaves him separated from his African roots. This novel depicts the uncertainties which beset the nation of Nigeria, while independence from colonial rule began looming near.

However his fate, overtakes him while he finds himself being trapped by the expectation of his village, his family, both of which the representations of the traditional world of his ancestors, as well as the colonial world.

This is both a story about a man getting lost in cultural limbo, and a nation that is entering a new age of disillusionment, Chinua delivers a book that is a powerful metaphor for his generation of young Nigerians.

“Arrow of God” is the third novel in the “Africa” series and was released in 1964. Set in the Igbo heartland, located in Nigeria, one of the best known writers in all of Africa describes the conflict between new and old in its most poignant aspect: the personal struggle between son and dad.

Ezeulu: is the headstrong chief priest of the god Ulu, and he’s worshiped by all six villages of Umuaro. However his authority is increasingly coming under threat, from functionaries of the colonial government, from rivals inside of his own tribe, and even from members of his own family. But he believes that he’s untouchable: surely he’s an arrow in God’s bow? Armed with such a belief, he’s ready to lead all of his people, even if it’s towards their own destruction. However his people aren’t going to be dominated that easily.

“Arrow of God”, powerful and spare, is this unforgettable depiction of the loss of faith, and the downfall of one man in this society which was altered forever by colonialism.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Chinua Achebe

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