“Ochiagha decries the tokenist approach adopted by some Western academics who overlook the novel’s sophistication (and) she entreats us to appreciate its subtle complexity….”
Times Literary Supplement
The publication of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (1958) is heralded as the inaugural moment of modern African fiction, and the book remains the most widely read African novel of all time. Translated into dozens of languages, it has sold more than twelve million copies, and has become a canonical reading in schools the world over. While Things Fall Apart is neither the first African novel to be published in the West nor necessarily the most critically valued, its iconic status has surpassed even that of its author.
Until now—in the sixtieth anniversary year of its publication—there has not been an updated history that moves beyond the book’s commonly discussed contexts and themes. In the accessible and concise A Short History of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Terri Ochiagha provides that history, asking new questions and bringing to wider attention unfamiliar but crucial elements of the Things Fall Apart story. These include new insights into questions of canonicity and into literary, historiographical, and precolonial aesthetic influences. She also assesses adaptations and appropriations not just in films but in theater, hip-hop, and popular literary genres such as Onitsha Market Literature.
Dr. Terri Ochiagha is a lecturer in world literatures in English in Royal Holloway, University of London. Her first book, Achebe and Friends at Umuahia: The Making of a Literary Elite, won the African Studies Association UK’s Fage and Oliver Prize in 2016. More info →
Save 20% ($13.56)
US and Canada only
Availability and price vary according to vendor.
Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center
Through an examination of metaphors that describe the trauma, loss, and suffering associated with the the transatlantic slave trade, Metaphor and the Slave Trade shows how the horrors of slavery are communicated from generation to generation and persist in West African discourse.
Rewriting Modernity: Studies in Black South African Literary History connects the black literary archive in South Africa to international postcolonial studies via the theory of transculturation, a position adapted from the Cuban anthropologist Fernando Ortiz.
Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart provided the impetus for the foundation of Heinemann’s African Writers Series in 1962 with Achebe as the editorial adviser. Africa Writes Back presents portraits of the leading characters and the many consultants and readers providing reports and advice to new and established writers.
Dance of Life examines the five novels Zakes Mda—novelist, painter, composer, theater director and filmmaker—has written since South Africa’s transition to democracy: Ways of Dying (1995), The Heart of Redness (2000), The Madonna of Excelsior (2002), The Whale Caller (2005), and Cion (2007).
Sign up to be notified when new African Studies titles come out.
We will only use your email address to notify you of new titles in the subject area(s) you follow. We will never share your information with third parties.