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Things Fall Apart

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Things Fall Apart Cover

ISBN13: 9780385474542
ISBN10: 0385474547
Condition: Standard
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Staff Pick

Before Things Fall Apart was published in 1958, few novels existed in English that depicted African life from the African perspective. And while the book has paved the way for countless authors since, Chinua Achebe's illuminating work remains a classic of modern African literature. Drawing on the history and customs passed down to him, Achebe tells the tale Okonkwo, a strong-willed member of a late-19th-century Nigerian village. As we follow Okonkwo's story, we get a glimpse of the intricacies of village life and the complex social structures that come into play. We then see the devastating effects of European colonization on the region and on Okonkwo himself, whose rise and fall become intertwined with the changing power dynamics. Things Fall Apart is essential reading for anyone who wants a more nuanced understanding of other ways of life, of culture clashes, of what being civilized really entails.
Recommended by Renee P., Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"When it was published fifty years ago, Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart caused a stir for its revelation of something hitherto strange and unfamiliar in the world of literature: genuine African voices. Achebe was not the first African novelist, as he has sometimes wrongly been called, but his use of standard English to produce believable characters who inhabited a complex and authentic world marked two existing traditions of writing about Africa as evolutionary dead ends." Howard W. French, The Nation (read the entire Nation review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Chinua Achebe's first novel portrays the collision of African and European cultures in people's lives. Okonkwo, a great man in Igbo traditional society, cannot adapt to the profound changes brought about by British colonial rule. Yet, as in classic tragedy, Okonkwo's downfall results from his own character as well as from external forces.

Review:

"This handsome trade paperback honors the 50th anniversary of Things Fall Apart, one of the most widely read and beloved novels of our time. It's a true modern classic." Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)

Review:

“Achebe is gloriously gifted with the magic of an ebullient, generous, great talent.” Nadine Gordimer, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"A vivid imagination illuminates every page....This novel genuinely succeeds in penetrating tribal life from the inside." Times Literary Supplement

Synopsis:

Achebe's masterpiece tells the story of Okonkwo, strongman of an Ibo village in Nigeria, as he witnesses the destruction of his culture and the loss of his own place within it.

Synopsis:

Things Fall Apart tells two intertwining stories, both centering on Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first, a powerful fable of the immemorial conflict between the individual and society, traces Okonkwos fall from grace with the tribal world. The second, as modern as the first is ancient, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo's world with the arrival of aggressive European missionaries. These perfectly harmonized twin dramas are informed by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul.

About the Author

Chinua Achebe was born in Nigeria in 1930. He was raised in the large village of Ogidi, one of the first centers of Anglican missionary work in Eastern Nigeria, and is a graduate of University College, Ibadan.

Cited in the London Sunday Times as one of the "1,000 Makers of the Twentieth Century" for defining "a modern African literature that was truly African" and thereby making "a major contribution to world literature," Chinua Achebe has published novels short stories, essays, and children's books. His volume of poetry, Christmas in Biafra, written during the Biafran War, was the joint winner of the first Commonwealth Poetry Prize. Of his novels, Arrow of God won the New Statesman--Jock Campbell Award, and Anthills of the Savannah was a finalist for the 1987 Booker Prize. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe's masterpiece, has been published in fifty different languages and has sold millions of copies in the United States since its original publication in 1958-1959.

Mr. Achebe lives with his wife in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, where they teach at Bard College. They have four children and three grandchildren.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

dreena, August 6, 2014 (view all comments by dreena)
What does it mean to be civilized? Do we have the right to change a country's customs and values based upon our own??? Timeless questions the reader considers as he watches one African man's struggle to define himself and his community. A classic that belongs in every person's home library.
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bluedolphin_dancer1, November 13, 2013 (view all comments by bluedolphin_dancer1)
While at first glance, this book appears to be boring, when you delve deeper into the plot, it won't disappoint! The plot weaves two stories together. The story of the hardships and trials of small village life in rural Niger, and the struggle against the missionaries that keeps everyone biting their nails till the last sentence. I originally read it for school, but have started rereading in for pleasure!
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
skierunner, February 12, 2012 (view all comments by skierunner)
This book is a must read. It is the response to books such as Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness that portrays the African tribes as culture-less, ignorant tribes with no sense of language or religion. Achebe does an outstanding job retaining the Ibo (an Nigerian culture) rhythm and style of language and illustrating the complexities of Ibo culture.

The story itself follows a famed warrior, Okonkwo, through his life and the life of his tribe. The first half of the story is pre-contact with European peoples, and the second half is the interaction and response to that contact. I wouldn't exactly say that this book is a 'happy' one, but it is one that will get you thinking, and will help propagate understanding.
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(4 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780385474542
Author:
Achebe, Chinua
Publisher:
Anchor Books
Location:
Prince Frederick, MD
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Men
Subject:
Race relations
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
British
Subject:
Fiction (fictional works by one author)
Subject:
Nigeria
Subject:
Men -- Nigeria -- Fiction.
Subject:
Igbo
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
ESL ReadAlong
Series Volume:
107-1
Publication Date:
19940931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8.01x5.22x.58 in. .49 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Children's » General
Featured Titles » General
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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Africa
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Things Fall Apart Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 224 pages Anchor Books - English 9780385474542 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Before Things Fall Apart was published in 1958, few novels existed in English that depicted African life from the African perspective. And while the book has paved the way for countless authors since, Chinua Achebe's illuminating work remains a classic of modern African literature. Drawing on the history and customs passed down to him, Achebe tells the tale Okonkwo, a strong-willed member of a late-19th-century Nigerian village. As we follow Okonkwo's story, we get a glimpse of the intricacies of village life and the complex social structures that come into play. We then see the devastating effects of European colonization on the region and on Okonkwo himself, whose rise and fall become intertwined with the changing power dynamics. Things Fall Apart is essential reading for anyone who wants a more nuanced understanding of other ways of life, of culture clashes, of what being civilized really entails.

"Review A Day" by , "When it was published fifty years ago, Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart caused a stir for its revelation of something hitherto strange and unfamiliar in the world of literature: genuine African voices. Achebe was not the first African novelist, as he has sometimes wrongly been called, but his use of standard English to produce believable characters who inhabited a complex and authentic world marked two existing traditions of writing about Africa as evolutionary dead ends." (read the entire Nation review)
"Review" by , "This handsome trade paperback honors the 50th anniversary of Things Fall Apart, one of the most widely read and beloved novels of our time. It's a true modern classic." (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
"Review" by , “Achebe is gloriously gifted with the magic of an ebullient, generous, great talent.”
"Review" by , "A vivid imagination illuminates every page....This novel genuinely succeeds in penetrating tribal life from the inside."
"Synopsis" by , Achebe's masterpiece tells the story of Okonkwo, strongman of an Ibo village in Nigeria, as he witnesses the destruction of his culture and the loss of his own place within it.
"Synopsis" by , Things Fall Apart tells two intertwining stories, both centering on Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first, a powerful fable of the immemorial conflict between the individual and society, traces Okonkwos fall from grace with the tribal world. The second, as modern as the first is ancient, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo's world with the arrival of aggressive European missionaries. These perfectly harmonized twin dramas are informed by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul.
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