Chinua Achebe, the full name Albert Chinualumogu Achebe, was a Nigerian novelist best known for his unflinching depictions of the social and psychological disorientation that comes with the imposition of Western customs and values on traditional African society. He was born November 16, 1930, in Ogidi, Nigeria, and died March 21, 2013, in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. His novels include a wide range of topics, from an African village’s first interaction with a white man to an educated African’s struggle to construct a stable moral order out of changing ideals in a huge metropolis.
Achebe grew raised in the Nigerian Igbo (Ibo) community of Ogidi. Achebe taught for a brief time after graduating from University College (now the University of Ibadan) with a degree in English and literature before joining the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation’s staff in Lagos, where he served as director of external broadcasting from 1961 to 1966. In 1967, he co-founded a publishing house in Enugu with poet Christopher Okigbo, who perished in the Nigerian civil war for Biafran independence, which Achebe publicly supported. In 1969, Achebe went on a lecture tour in the United States with fellow writers Gabriel Okara and Cyprian Ekwensi.
He was appointed research fellow at the University of Nigeria and then became professor of English, a position he held from 1976 until 1981. (professor emeritus from 1985). Heinemann Educational Books Ltd. and Nwankwo-Ifejika Ltd., both in Nigeria, were his directors from 1970. He migrated to the United States after being severely crippled in a car accident in Nigeria in 1990. He taught at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. Achebe left Bard in 2009 to become a professor at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.
Things Fall Apart (1958), Achebe’s debut novel, is about traditional Igbo life in Nigeria at the time of the arrival of missionaries and colonial rule. Even if the old order has already disintegrated, his main character is unable to embrace the new one. He played a freshly appointed public servant, lately back from university study in England, in the sequel No Longer at Ease (1960), who is unable to maintain the moral standards he considers to be proper in the face of the demands and temptations of his new post.
In Arrow of God (1964), set in a community under British authority in the 1920s, the main character, the town’s head priest, whose son becomes a devout Christian, directs his hatred of the white man’s position onto his own people. A Man of the People (1966) and Anthills of the Savannah (1987) both deal with postcolonial African life and corruption.
How the Leopard Got His Claws was one of the numerous collections of short tales and children’s books released by Achebe (1973; with John Iroaganachi). Poem collections include Beware, Soul-Brother (1971), and Christmas in Biafra (1973). Another Africa (1998) blends Achebe’s essay and poems with Robert Lyons’ pictures. Morning Yet on Creation Day (1975), Hopes and Impediments (1988), Home and Exile (2000), The Education of a British-Protected Child (2009), and the autobiographical There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra (2009) are among Achebe’s collection of essays (2012). He was awarded the Man Booker International Prize in 2007.
Social Issues and Ways of Life Education
- Brown University
- university, Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Brown University is a private, coeducational university in Providence, Rhode Island, United States, and one of the Ivy League colleges. Rhode Island College, a Baptist college for males, was founded in Warren, Rhode Island, in 1764. In 1770, the school relocated to Providence, and in 1804, it was given its current name in honor of philanthropist Nicholas Brown. From 1827 through 1855, Francis Wayland, Brown’s president, diversified the curriculum by introducing electives, modern languages, and improved laboratory equipment. By combining with the associated Pembroke College in 1971, the institution became coeducational. It comprises a bachelor’s degree program, as well as graduate and medical schools. Undergraduate students are required to develop their own interdisciplinary program of study, but most do so within one of more than 70 existing academic emphases, in an unusual method to meeting degree requirements. The total number of students enrolled is around 7,600.
Humanities: Philosophy and Religion
- Bard College
- college, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, United States
Bard College is a private, coeducational college in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, United States. It is a part of the Episcopal church. It is a liberal arts college with sections for social studies, languages, and literature, arts, natural sciences, and mathematics, and the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, as well as the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts. The institution also offers master’s degree programs in the fine arts, history of the decorative arts, curatorial studies, and environmental studies, as well as a doctoral degree program in the history of decorative arts, design, and culture. On-campus, you’ll find the Edith C. Blum Institute and the Institute for Writing and Thinking. The Richard and Marieluise Black Center for Curatorial Studies and Art in Contemporary Culture, which houses the Rivendell Collection of Late Twentieth-Century Art, is also located on campus. Along the Hudson River, Bard runs an ecological field station. There are roughly 1,300 students enrolled.
The college began as St. Stephen’s, an Episcopal college for men, in 1860. The primary founder was John Bard, a member of a wealthy local family. To widen and secularize its aim, the institution introduced social and natural science courses to its classical curriculum in 1919. The institution was taken over by Columbia University in New York City in 1928, and it became Columbia’s undergraduate school. In 1934, the name was changed to Bard College. Bard broke its ties with Columbia in 1944 and began admitting women the following year. In 1986, the Jerome Levy Economics Institute was established for postgraduate students. The Lacoste School of the Arts in Lacoste, France, became connected with the college in 1977. Isaac Bashevis Singer, Ralph Ellison, Roy Lichtenstein, Mary McCarthy, Saul Bellow, and Chinua Achebe are among the notable artists and authors who have taught at Bard.
Literature: Novels and Short Stories
- Things Fall Apart novel by Achebe
Things Fall Apart was Chinua Achebe’s debut novel, published in 1958 and written in English. Things Fall Apart contributed to the 1960s Nigerian literary revival.
The novel follows Okonkwo, the leader of an Igbo community, from the events leading up to his expulsion from the community for accidentally killing a clansman, through his seven years of exile, and his eventual return, and it addresses a particular problem of emergent Africa—white missionaries and colonial government intruding into tribal Igbo society in the 1890s. It recounts the simultaneous dissolution of its protagonist Okonkwo and his community in a traditional framework sprinkled with Igbo proverbs. The work was commended for its insightful and realistic portrayal of tribal beliefs and psychological deterioration as a result of social collapse.
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