October 22, 1997
16 b&w photos, 3 figures, 1 maps
9.25 Inches (US)
6.13 Inches (US)
1.63 Pounds (US)
$35.95 USD
v2.1 Reference

Chinua Achebe

A Biography

". . . some 10 years of painstaking enquiry are presented with sustained energy . . . Ezenwa-Ohaeto has completed a remarkable feat . . ." —West Africa

". . . a gold mine of a source for future researchers." —The Literary Griot

" . . . in this meticulously researched work, [Ezenwa-Ohaeto] provides a wealth of information that should prove invaluable to all future studies of Achebe." —Library Journal

"Great back-up for classes reading Achebe's Things Fall Apart." —Booklist

"This pioneering biography draws upon a wealth of printed and oral sources to produce a vivid record of the life and times of Africa's most influential novelist. Ezenwa-Ohaeto is Achebe's Boswell; nothing of importance, large or small, seems to escape him." —Bernth Lindfors, University of Texas

This is the first biography of the internationally acclaimed author of Things Fall Apart, the most widely read African novel, first published in 1958 and now a classic, with more than 12 million copies in print. Things Fall Apart is a defining moment in African and world literature.

Ezenwa-Ohaeto's biography is the first comprehensive account of Achebe's life to date. Based on extensive research and numerous interviews, this is also the first work to trace the story of Achebe's life while putting his achievement into a social and historical context.

About the Author

Ezenwa-Ohaeto, poet and writer, was one of Chinua Achebe's students at the University of Nigeria, before he took a doctorate at the University of Benin. He has taught at Ahmadu Bello University, Anambra State College, and Alvan Ikoku Institute as well as the Universities of Mainz and Bayreuth.


"What a treat! This biography of one of the world's most distinguished and honored writers is a welcome arrival. Achebe has done more than any other single person to draw international attention to the literature of the sub-Sahara, and he is well served by this study. The book details Achebe's life from his birth in 1930 to 1993, showing his growth as a novelist, poet, and critic. The author includes a good treatment of the firestorm that occurred after Achebe called Heart of Darkness a racist work; his work as a Biafran patriot during the aborted war of secession; and his encouragement of other African writers, primarily but not exclusively those from Nigeria, to show their work to the world. Indeed, to read this book is to be present at the beginning of the careers of such acclaimed writers as Ngugi (Ngugi) wa Thiongo, Wole Soyinka, and Christopher Okigbo. This rewarding study veers now and then toward hagiography (Ezenwa-Ohaeto is a former student), but that is not a serious flaw. Those wishing for a closer reading of the novels (which was clearly not the author's intent) should read Simon Gukandi's Reading Chinua Achebe (CH, May'92) or Chinua Achebe: A Celebration, edited by Kirsten Petersen and Anna Rutherford (1991). Every library should add Ezenwa-Ohaeto's book to its collection.May 1998"—P. W. Stine, Gordon College
Indiana University Press

9780253333421 : chinua-achebe-ezenwa-ohaeto
352 Pages
$35.95 USD

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