Achebe at Irvine: Celebration
of Black Literature
Achebe, author of Things Fall Apart,
the 2002 Penn Reading Project book,
will speak on the Celebration
of Black Literature at Irvine
Auditorium, on Friday, February 14,
at 4 p.m.
Office of the President, Office of
the Provost, the Center for Africana
Studies in SAS, and Art Sanctuary
will present acclaimed Nigerian author
Chinua Achebe, perhaps best known
for his widely read novels Things
Fall Apart, Arrow of God and Anthills
of the Savannah.
Achebe, the fifth of his parents'
six children, was raised in a Christian
evangelical family in the large village
of Ogidi, one of the first centers
of Anglican missionary work in Igboland
in Eastern Nigeria.
1958, Things Fall Apart was
published and was hailed as a revealing
portrait of pre-colonial African culture.
The book also raises the broader topic
of an older culture giving way to
modernity. More than two millions
copies have been sold in the United
States since its publication.
Achebe draws material for his novels
from both traditional oral literature
and from a rapidly changing society,
heavily influenced by the West. He
rejects the European notion that art
should be accountable to no one and
has embraced the idea at the heart
of the African oral tradition that
myths and stories were told for a
Achebe has written short stories,
poems, novels and essays about Nigeria.
His poetry volume, Christmas in
Biafra, was the joint winner of
the British Commonwealth Poetry
Prize in 1972. He has also received
28 honorary doctorates from colleges
and universities in Canada, the United
Kingdom, and the United States. He
is the Charles Stevens Professor of
Languages and Literature at Bard College,
in New York.
Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 21, February 11, 2003