Tag Archives: Chinua Achebe

Moving ‘White Man’s Deads’ is no second hand business

I wrote this for Chimurenga Chronic a while ago: Since the 1970s, the importation of second-hand clothing has been banned in Nigeria. People give different reasons for the policy. An official of Nigerian Customs told me the practice was banned because they are dirty clothes picked from the streets of Europe, something unfit for Nigerians… Read More »

Reviews of Achebe’s There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra

First the conclusion of this ‘review’ (really, it is a summary of what the ‘reviewer’ likes in the book; and such a word as review should ideally not be used for it. If, however, we choose to call it a review, we should add that it is at best anodyne) by Noo Saro-Wiwa: The final… Read More »

How far back to go in telling the stories? – A response

This is a guest post by Keith Hart (cross-posted). It is partly in response to Benson Eluma’s piece here on Achebe and Hart. You can leave your comments here or at Hart’s blog. Benson’s post refers to my previous one, Africa’s hope, which in turn took off from Chinua Achebe’s NYT oped piece. I will not… Read More »

How far back to go in telling the stories

A guest post from Benson Eluma, a NigeriansTalk contributor. WHAT ARE THE differences between Achebe and Hart? Achebe says we have to go back 500 years to understand the problem of Africa; Hart says no, the required span is ‘the last century’. I feel that by the time we get to the start of Hart’s… Read More »

Chinua Achebe and Keith Hart on Africa’s Promise and Hope

Chinua Achebe, one of the greatest writers Nigeria has ever known, recently wrote an op-ed article titled Nigeria’s Promise, Africa’s Hope for the New York Times. The piece starts out with the injustices of colonisation and how Africans had no idea about what to do with independence after having gained it. The following two excellent… Read More »

Helon Habila recommends three Nigerian fiction books

Helon Habila is a Nigerian novelist and poet. His first novel Waiting for an Angel won the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Best First Book, Africa Region) in 2003. His three choices for Nigeria are; 1. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe 2. The Man Died by Wole Soyinka 3. The Famished Road by Ben Okri From… Read More »

Achebe writes a book on the Nigerian civil war

I just read this on the Nigerian Village Square: The literary world is abuzz with the news that Achebe in 2010, on the fiftieth anniversary of Nigeria’s independence, and the fortieth anniversary of the end of the Biafran war; is working on a major opus – Reflections on the Nigerian Civil War 1967-1970. It will… Read More »

“Achebe makes Conrad, the man, answerable for the offensive stereotypes he promulgates as a writer”

In the powerful essay “Africa’s Tarnished Name,” for example, he returns to his highly polemical 1975 assessment of Joseph Conrad’s racism in “Heart of Darkness.” Adamantly refusing the notion that the British writer’s portrayal of African barbarity might be excused by his socio-historical context, Achebe makes Conrad, the man, answerable for the offensive stereotypes he promulgates… Read More »