A child cannot pay for its mother’s milk. - Chinua Achebe's image
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A child cannot pay for its mother’s milk. - Chinua Achebe

KavishalaKavishala November 17, 2021
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People create stories create people; or rather stories create people create stories.

Chinua Achebe was a novelist, poet, professor at Brown University and critic. He is best known for his first novel, Things Fall Apart (1958), which is the most widely read book in modern African literature.

Raised by Christian parents in the Igbo town of Ogidi in southeastern Nigeria, Achebe excelled at school and won a scholarship for undergraduate studies. He became fascinated with world religions and traditional African cultures, and began writing stories as a university student. After graduation, he worked for the Nigerian Broadcasting Service and soon moved to the metropolis of Lagos. He gained worldwide attention for Things Fall Apart in the late 1950s; his later novels include No Longer at Ease (1960), Arrow of God (1964), A Man of the People (1966), and Anthills of the Savannah (1987). Achebe writes his novels in English and has defended the use of English, a "language of colonizers", in African literature. In 1975, his lecture An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" became the focus of controversy, for its criticism of Joseph Conrad as "a bloody racist".


Glimpse from his writing:

  • If you don't like someone's story, write your own.
  • “The world is like a Mask dancing. If you want to see it well, you do not stand in one place.”
  • “While we do our good works let us not forget that the real solution lies in a world in which charity will have become unnecessary.”
  • “The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.”
  • “Nobody can teach me who I am. You can describe parts of me, but who I am - and what I need - is something

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