Home and Exile

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Canongate, 2003 - Africa - 128 pages
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This trenchant and illuminating book by one of Africa's most influential and celebrated writers is a major statement on the importance and dangers of stories, one in which Achebe makes telling use of his personal experiences to examine the political nature of culture and specifically literature.It is the weaving of the personal into the bigger picture that makes Home and Exile so remarkable and affecting. It's the closest we are likely to get by way of Achebe's autobiography but it is also a brilliantly argued critique of imperialism. Achebe challenges the way the West has appropriated Africa with a particular emphasis on how 'imperialist' literature has been used to justify its dispossession and degradation.Above all this is a book that articulates persuasively why literature matters. Stories are a real source of power in the world, Achebe concludes, and to imitate the literature of another culture is to give that power away.

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About the author (2003)

Chinua Achebe was born in Nigeria in 1930, and in a long and distinguished career has published novels, stories, essays and poems.Cited in the Sunday Times as one of the "1,000 Makers of the Twentieth Century" for defining "a modern African literature that was truly African" and thereby making "a major contribution to world literature". Achebe has received more than 30 honorary doctorates from universities around the world. In 2007 he was awarded the Man Booker International Prize. He lives with his wife in Annandale-on-Hudson, where they teach at Bard College. They have four children.

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