Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart (1958)

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Things Fall Apart, a 1958 novel by Nigerian Author Chinua Achebe, tells the story of Okonkwo and his clan of Umuofia in three parts. The first part tells of Okonkwo’s weak and disrespected father, his motivation to become a diligent and wealthy man, his rise to a respected man and the tragedy of his exile. The second part comprises Okonkwo’s life in exile, his struggle to remain strong and manly and the arrival of the white missionaries. The third part relates the downfall of his clan, the conversions to Christianity and finally, Okonkwo’s suicide.

Publishing History

  • First published by Heinemann in 1958
  • Published in Penguin Classics in 2001
  • Published in Penguin Red Classics in 2006

Awards and Reception

  • 1959 Margaret Wrong Memorial Prize