From the renowned author of The African Trilogy, a political satire about an unnamed African country navigating a path between violence and corruption
As Minister for Culture, former school teacher M. A. Nanga is a man of the people, as cynical as he is charming, and a roguish opportunist. When Odili, an idealistic young teacher, visits his former instructor at the ministry, the division between them is vast. But in the eat-and-let-eat atmosphere, Odili’s idealism soon collides with his lusts—and the two men’s personal and political tauntings threaten to send their country into chaos. When Odili launches a vicious campaign against his former mentor for the same seat in an election, their mutual animosity drives the country to revolution.
Published, prophetically, just days before Nigeria’s first attempted coup in 1966, A Man of the People is an essential part of Achebe’s body of work.
Chinua Achebe is considered the father of modern African literature, the writer who “opened the magic casements of African fiction.” The African Trilogy–comprised of Things Fall Apart, Arrow of God, and No Longer at Ease–is his magnum opus. In these masterly novels, Achebe brilliantly imagines the lives of three generations of an African community as their world is upended by the forces of colonialism from the first arrival of the British to the waning days of empire.
The trilogy opens with the groundbreaking Things Fall Apart, the tale of Okonkwo, a hero in his village, whose clashes with missionaries–coupled with his own tragic pride–lead to his fall from grace. Arrow of God takes up the ongoing conflict between continuity and change as Ezeulu, the headstrong chief priest, finds his authority is under threat from rivals and colonial functionaries. But he believes himself to be untouchable and is determined to lead his people, even if it is towards their own destruction. Finally, in No Longer at Ease, Okonkwo’s grandson, educated in England, returns to a civil-service job in Lagos, only to see his morality erode as he clings to his membership in the ruling elite.
Drawing on the traditional Igbo tales of Achebe’s youth, The African Trilogy is a literary landmark, a mythic and universal tale of modern Africa. As Toni Morrison wrote, “African literature is incomplete and unthinkable without the works of Chinua Achebe. For passion, intellect and crystalline prose, he is unsurpassed.”
This special, large-format, lavishly-illustrated edition of Things Fall Apart, ‘Africa’s best loved novel’, is a timely tribute to ‘the father of modern African Literature’. It is published to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of a book now considered a classic of African and World Literature. This edition uniquely blends the enduring simplicity of Achebe’s tale with the creative visual talents of some of Nigeria’s best and bright contemporary artists. The result is a book that will appeal to lovers of African Literature and Art the world over. A treasured testament to the art of story-telling, Things Fall Apart Illustrated is bound to become a collector’s item.