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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $19.00
  • December 2008
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-93219-5
  • 624 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

Things Fall Apart

Norton Critical Editions


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Chinua Achebe (Author), Francis Abiola Irele (Editor, Harvard University)


Chinua Achebe’s tragic novel of pre-colonial Igbo society was a major literary and cultural event when it was published in 1958.

Written during a period of nationalist assertion and an emerging modern culture in Africa, Things Fall Apart’s influence quickly spread from Nigeria throughout Africa and beyond. In its fifty years, this unforgettable novel has been translated into fifty languages and has been read by millions.

A Chronology of Achebe’s life and work and a Selected Bibliography are also included.




    The Text of Things Fall Apart

    Contexts and Criticism

    Chinua Achebe, Interviews

    1. Lewis Nkosi, Donatus Nwoga, Dennis Duerden, and Robert Serumaga, Interview with Chinua Achebe
    2. Biodun Jeyifo, Literature and Conscientization: Interview with Chinua Achebe
    3. James Currey, Alan Hill, and Keith Sambrook, Working with Chinua Achebe: In Conversation with Kirsten Holst Petersen

    Essays and Responses

    1. Chinua Achebe, Chi in Igbo Cosmology, An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness
    2. Gerald Graff, Teaching the Politics of Heart of Darkness
    3. Olusegun Adekoya, Criticising the Critic: Achebe on Conrad
    4. Caryl Phillips, Was Joseph Conrad Really a Racist?
    5. Chinua Achebe, Africa’s Tarnished Image

    The Igbo-African Background

    1. J.P. Clark, Abiku
    2. Map: Nigeria, showing the Igbo area
    3. Map: Igboland, showing the major places in Things Fall Apart
    4. Wole Soyinka, Abiku
    5. Victor C. Uchendu, The Igbo World
    6. Don C. Ohadike, Igbo Culture and History

    General Essays on Chinua Achebe

    1. A.G. Stock, Yeats and Achebe
    2. James Snead, European Pedigrees/African Contagions: Nationality, Narrative, and Communality in Tutuola, Achebe, and Reed
    3. James Olney, The African Novel in Transition: Chinua Achebe
    4. Simon Gikandi, Chinua Achebe and the Invention of African Literature
    5. Augustine C. Okere, Achebe and Christianity
    6. Neil ten Kortenaar, Chinua Achebe and the Question of Modern African Tragedy
    7. Mala Pandurang, Chinua Achebe and the “African Experience”: A Socio-Literary Perspective

    Essays on Things Fall Apart

    1. Oladele Taiwo, Things Fall Apart
    2. Solomon O. Iyasere, Narrative Techniques in Things Fall Apart
    3. David Carroll, Things Fall Apart
    4. Achebe’s Things Fall Apart
    5. Biodun Jeyifo, For Chinua Achebe: The Resilience and the Predicament of Obierika
    6. Rhonda Cobham, Problems of Gender and History in the Teaching of Things Fall Apart
    7. Emmanuel Obiechina, Following the Author in Things Fall Apart
    8. Robert M. Wren, Things Fall Apart in its Time and Place
    9. Ato Quayson, Realism, Criticism, and the Disguises of Both: A Reading of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart with and Evaluation of the Criticism Relating to It

    Style and Language

    1. Bernth Lindfors, The Palm-oil with Which Achebe’s Words are Eaten
    2. Abdul JanMohamed, Sophisticated Primitivism: The Syncretism of Oral and Literate Modes in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart

    Chinua Achebe: A Chronology

    Selected Bibliography