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March 22nd, 2013
12:50 PM ET

'Things Fall Apart' author Chinua Achebe dies at 82

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By Laura Smith-Spark and Faith Karimi, CNN

(CNN) - Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, acclaimed in part for his groundbreaking 1958 novel "Things Fall Apart," has died, his British publisher, Penguin Books, said Friday.

He was 82.

An author of more than 20 books, his honors included the 2007 Man Booker International Prize for Fiction.

He was also accorded his country's highest award for intellectual achievement, the Nigerian National Merit Award.

Achebe is a major part of African literature, and is popular all over the continent for his novels, especially "Anthills of the Savannah," which was itself shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1987, and "Things Fall Apart."

The latter was required reading in countless high schools and colleges in the continent, and has been translated into dozens of languages.

Set in precolonial Nigeria, "Things Fall Apart" portrays the story of a farmer, Okonkwo, who struggles to preserve his customs despite pressure from British colonizers. The story resonated in post-independent Africa, and the character became a household name in the continent.

Achebe's stories included proverbs and tackled complex issues of African identity, nationalism and decolonization, adding to his books' popularity.

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  1. pearl

    Grew up reading ur novel part of my literature class (things fall apart and the novel the beautiful ounce as not yet born. I still have my copy. Rest in peace.

    April 5, 2013 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |