If he hadn’t died in March of 2013, one of Nigeria’s most popular novelist, poet, professor, and critic, Chinua Achebe would have clocked 87 years of age on the 16th of October, this year.
That is why Google is honouring the late Albert Chinụalụmọgụ Achebe with its doodle.
The novelist was born on November 16, 1930. His first novel Things Fall Apart (1958), often considered his best, is one of the most widely read books in modern African literature.
His journey into the world of African literature began from the University of Ibadan where he studied English literature instead of medicine that was earlier intended.
After Things Fall Apart – which depicts the complex customs of the Igbo people – and the wide acceptance it received, Achebe went on to write No Longer at Ease (1960), Arrow of God (1964), A Man of the People (1966), and Anthills of the Savannah(1987).
A titled Igbo chieftain himself, Achebe’s novels focus on the traditions of the Igbo society, the effect of Christian influences, and the clash of Western and traditional African values during and after the colonial era. His style relies heavily on the Igbo oral tradition and combines straightforward narration with representations of folk stories, proverbs, and oratory.
On March 22, 1990, Achebe had a car accident that confined him to the wheelchair for the rest of his life.
He won among others, the Man Booker International Prize in 2007.
In October 2012, Achebe’s publishers, Penguin Books, released what became his last published book There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra. He died in March, the following year.