There was a time when European writers used to present African stories. In the 1950`s, this situation started to change. African countries continued to be independent that time and African writers started writing their own stories. At this time, a novel called `Things Fall Apart ` made worldwide stir. This novel, which was published in 1958, has been considered as a classic creation in world literature. This novel, translated into more than 50 languages, has sold more than one crore copies worldwide. The story of a Nigerian village has been presented in the novel. For this novel, its writer got the Man Booker International Prize in 2007. The author of this novel, known as the grandfather of African literature, is Chinua Achebe. This Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic is well known for his anti-colonial status. It is said that the journey of modern fiction has started in Africa following Chinua Aachebe. Today is his 88th birth anniversary.
Achebe was born on 16 November 1930 on Ogidi, British Nigeria. After receiving scholarship from Ibadan University, he worked in Nigeria Broadcasting Service. As a medium of writing his novel `Things Fall Apart `, he chose English language and his this decision brought him intense criticism. However, he said that he chose this language to show Africa to the whole world.
Achebe started writing while he was a university student. As author, Achebe worked as a bridge between Africa and the West. In a number of poems, he strongly criticized the failure of the leadership of Nigerian politicians and leaders. In his books, the traditions of Ebo people during the colonial period of Nigeria, the aggression and domination of the Christians in the country`s culture, and the traditional contradictions between Africa and the West became clear.
Some of the most notable books of Achebe are: Things Fall Apart, Arrow of God, No Longer at Ease, Anthills of the Savannah, Girls at War and Other Stories, A Man of the People, Dead Men`s Path. African politics and the way Africa is being portrayed by the Western writers have frequently come to his writings. Achebe is the source of inspiration from many African writers. South African undisputed anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela once referred Chinua Achebe- the writer in the presence of whom the prison walls come down.
‘There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra’ based on Nigerian civil war was Achebe’s last writing. After the civil war in 1970, he joined the politics for a short period of time. He lived in the United States for several years in the 1970s, and returned to the U.S. in 1990, after a car accident left him partially disabled. He rejected Nigerian government`s Commander of Federal Republic title twice in 2004 and in 2011. This pole star of African fiction died on 21 March 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts, US.