Chinua Achebe is considered the father of modern African literature, the writer who "opened the magic casements of African fiction." The African Trilogycomprised of Things Fall Apart, Arrow of God, and No Longer at Easeis 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 missionariescoupled with his own tragic pridelead 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."
About the Author
Chinua Achebe (1930–2013) was born in Nigeria. Widely considered to be the father of modern African literature, he is best known for his masterful African Trilogy, consisting of Things Fall Apart, Arrow of God, and No Longer at Ease. The trilogy tells the story of a single Nigerian community over three generations from first colonial contact to urban migration and the breakdown of traditional cultures. He is also the author of Anthills of the Savannah, A Man of the People, Girls at War and Other Stories, Home and Exile, Hopes and Impediments, Collected Poems, The Education of a British-Protected Child, Chike and the River, and There Was a Country. He was the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University and, for more than fifteen years, was the Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College. Achebe was the recipient of the Nigerian National Merit Award, Nigeria’s highest award for intellectual achievement. In 2007, Achebe was awarded the Man Booker International Prize for lifetime achievement.
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