Nigeria has lost a legend. Regarded as the father of African literature, Chinua Achebe will be remembered for his contributions to literature in Africa. He authoured the international best-selling award winning “Things Fall Apart”. His death in March 21 in a private hospital in Boston Massachusetts came as a shock to all his fans and lovers all over the world, especially for a man whose books transcend time.
Simon Winder, publishing director at Penguin, tries to describe him;
“Chinua Achebe is the greatest of African writers and we are all desolate to hear of his death,”
Achebe won the Commonwealth poetry prize for his collection Christmas in Biafra, was a finalist for the 1987 Booker prize for his novel Anthills of the Savannah, and in 2007 won the Man Booker international prize. Chair of the judges on that occasion, Elaine Showalter, said he had “inaugurated the modern African novel”, while her fellow judge, the South African Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer, said his fiction was “an original synthesis of the psychological novel, the Joycean stream of consciousness, the postmodern breaking of sequence”, and that Achebe was “a joy and an illumination to read”.
Nelson Mandela, meanwhile, has said that Achebe “brought Africa to the rest of the world” and called him “the writer in whose company the prison walls came down”.
Chinua Achebe died at 82 years.