(Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2014)
Chinua Achebe has long been regarded as Africa’s foremost writer. In this major new study, Jago Morrison offers a comprehensive reassessment of his work as an author, broadcaster, editor and political thinker.
With new, historically contextualised readings of all of his major works, this is the first study to view Achebe’s oeuvre in its entirety, from Things Fall Apart and the early novels, through the revolutionary Ahiara Declaration – previously attributed to Emeka Ojukwu – to the revealing final works The Education of a British Educated Child and There Was a Country. Contesting previous interpretations which align Achebe too easily with this or that nationalist programme, the book reveals Achebe as a much more troubled figure than critics have habitually assumed.
Authoritative and wide-ranging, this book will be essential reading for scholars and students of Achebe’s work in the Twenty-First Century.
List of Abbreviations
Chapter 1 – Speaking from the Middle Ground: Contexts and Intertexts 1
Growing up with Nigeria 4
The Literary and Cultural Field 37
Publishing: the Making of Chinua Achebe 50
Chapter 2 – Things Fall Apart and No Longer at Ease 66
Achebe’s Okonkwo Saga 69
Anti-colonial resistance? 95
Chapter 3 – Arrow of God 112
Gender and Resistance 137
Chapter 4 – A Man of the People and the Biafran writings 162
A Man of the People 166
The Biafran Writings 193
Chapter 5 – Anthills of the Savannah 220
The Elite 239
Gender and Redemption 253
A New Order? 263
The Balance of Stories: Critical Overview and Conclusion 270
Select Bibliography 301
Many friends and colleagues have helped in the writing of this book, in formal and informal ways. For their advice and help in finding difficult-to-access resources, I am...