Chinua Achebe: pure and simple, an oral biography
One of the most engaging, and unavoidable questions in the study of literature is the relationship between the events of an artist's life and his work. The author of this study contends that you cannot separate the two - she 'met' Achebe through Things Fall Apart. Knowing something of the biography of Achebe is crucial to gaining a more in-depth understanding of the man - and thus of the work. This authorised oral biography is compiled from interviews with family members, servants, and personal and professional friendships. It retraces the writer's steps from his hometown of Ogidi to Europe, and the U.S.; and considers his literary and political activities, his identities as an Africa, a Nigerian and an Igbo, and traits of his personality. The biographer recounts personal anecdotes in the biographer's exploration of a writer whom she characterises, on the one hand as a complex and conflicting personality; and on the other, as someone whose true concerm is for the well-being of the human community. The author is a Professor of English who has held posts at several North American and African universities; and has been a friend and colleague of Achebe's for some thirty years.
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