Chinua Achebe's global book turns 60

The celebration of the 60th anniversary of Things Fall Apart will see activities take place in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and nine other African countries

About Things Fall Apart

'Things Fall Apart' is considered to be one of the foremost stories told in English by an African voice. Set in a fictional village called Umuofia, the 'Things Fall Apart' talks of Okonkwo, an ambitious man determined to be the leader of his village.

The story's main preoccupation concerns pre-and post-colonial life in Nigeria and is one of the first modern African novel to receive global, critical acclaim.

Celebration of the 60th anniversary

The celebration of the 60th anniversary of Things Fall Apart will see activities take place in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and nine other African countries including South Africa, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Togo, Uganda, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Cameroon and Togo between February and December 2018. Past fellows of Ebedi International Writers Residency will help organise events in the other African countries.

There will be a five-city transnational event in Nigeria, with activities ranging from Symposia to Children's Carnival, Writing Competition, Stage Presentations of "Things Fall Apart", as well as a Grand Finale with a Night of Tributes. In Nigeria, the activities above will be held in Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja, Sokoto with the grand finale at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

A literary competition among secondary school students in the five centres will be organised. The competition will be organised with the provision of copies of Things Fall Apart for the students to read for one month before the day of the competition, which will be in the form of a quiz, reading comprehension and one-act dramatic enactment of any part of the book by participating schools.

"Things Fall Apart" was first published in 1958 by William Heinemann Ltd in the U.K. In 1962, it was also the first work published in Heinemann's African Writers Series. The title of the novel comes from a line in W. B. Yeats' poem "The Second Coming".

About Chinua Achebe

The late Achebe was one of the first graduates from the University of Ibadan. As an undergraduate, he developed an interest in writing, and later become one of the most celebrated African authors.

Young Achebe enrolled to study Medicine at the University of Ibadan. He later changed his course to English, history and theology after reading Joyce Cary’s book - Mister Johnson. The book like other Western literary works portrayed Nigerians as stupid and savage.

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