Beautifully written yet highly controversial, An Image of Africa asserts Achebe's belief in Joseph Conrad as a 'bloody racist' and his conviction that Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness only serves to perpetuate damaging stereotypes of black people. Also included is The Trouble with Nigeria, Achebe's searing outpouring of his frustrations with his country.
GREAT IDEAS. Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.
Chinua Achebe is considered the father of African literature in English, the writer who 'opened the magic casements of African fiction' for an international readership. Following the 50th anniversary of the publication of his ground-breaking Things Fall Apart, Everyman republish Achebe's first and most famous novel alongside No Longer at Ease and Arrow of God, under the collective title The African Trilogy.
In Things Fall Apart the individual tragedy of Okonkwo, 'strong man' and tribal elder in the Nigeria of the 1890s is intertwined with the transformation of traditional Igbo society under the impact of Christianity and colonialism. In No Longer at Ease, Okonkwo's grandson, Obi, educated in England, returns to a civil-service job in colonial Lagos, only to clash with the ruling elite to which he now believes he belongs. Arrow of God is set in the 1920s and explores the conflict from the two points of view - often, but not always, opposing - ofEzuelu, an Igbo priest, and Captain Winterbottom, a British district officer.
In spare and lucid prose,Achebe tellsa universal tale of personal and moral struggle in a changing world which continues to resonate in Africa today and has captured the imaginations of readers everywhere.
Ezeulu, headstrong chief priest of the god Ulu, is worshipped by the six villages of Umuaro. But he is beginning to find his authority increasingly under threat - from his rivals in the tribe, from those in the white government and even from his own family. Yet he still feels he must be untouchable - surely he is an arrow in the bow of his God? Armed with this belief, he is prepared to lead his people, even if it means destruction and annihilation. Yet the people will not be so easily dominated.
Spare and powerful, Arrow of God is an unforgettable portrayal of the loss of faith, and the struggle between tradition and change. Continuing the epic saga of the community in Things Fall Apart, it is the second volume of Achebe's African trilogy, and is followed by No Longer at Ease.
Obi Okonkwo is an idealistic young man who, thanks to the privileges of an education in Britain, has now returned to Nigeria for a job in the civil service. However in his new role he finds that the way of government seems to be backhanders and corruption. Obi manages to resist the bribes that are offered to him, but when he falls in love with an unsuitable girl - to the disapproval of his parents - he sinks further into emotional and financial turmoil. The lure of easy money becomes harder to refuse, and Obi becomes caught in a trap he cannot escape.
Showing a man lost in cultural limbo, and a Nigeria entering a new age of disillusionment, No Longer at Ease concludes Achebe's remarkable trilogy charting three generations of an African community under the impact of colonialism, the first two volumes of which are Things Fall Apart and Arrow of God.
Okonowo is the greatest warrior alive. His fame has spread like a bushfire in West Africa and he is one of the most powerful men of his clan.
But he also has a fiery temper. Determined not to be like his father, he refuses to show weakness to anyone - even if the only way he can master his feelings is with his fists. When outsiders threaten the traditions of his clan, Okonowo takes violent action. Will the great man's dangerous pride eventually destroy him?
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 was a graduate of University College, Ibadan. His early career in radio ended abruptly in 1966, when he left his post as Director of External Broadcasting in Nigeria during the national upheaval that led to the Biafran War. Achebe joined the Biafran Ministry of Information and represented Biafra on various diplomatic and fund-raising missions. He was appointed Senior Research Fellow at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and began lecturing widely abroad. For over fifteen years, he was the Charles P. Stevenson Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College. He was Professor at the David and Marianna Fisher University and Professor of Africana studies at Brown University. Chinua Achebe wrote over twenty books - novels, short stories, essays and collections of poetry - and received numerous honours from around the world, including the Honourary Fellowship of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as honourary doctorates from more than thirty colleges and universities. He was also the recipient of Nigeria's highest award for intellectual achievement, the Nigerian National Merit Award. In 2007, he won the Man Booker International Prize for Fiction. He died in 2013.