Tip: To gather records for later use, such as citation listing, click an item's Add to My Collection + icon. Click My Collection at any time to see your accumulated records. My Collection lasts for the duration of your browser session.
McDougall RJ. 'Things Fall Apart': Culture, Anthropology, Literature. 2009.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/6707
'Things Fall Apart': Culture, Anthropology, Literature
Nigerian Chinua Achebe is undoubtedly Africa's best known and most widely studied author. His publishers estimate that his first novel, 'Things Fall Apart', has sold more than eight million copies. This official estimate obviously excludes the many pirate copies that have circulated in Africa (and probably elsewhere). Time Magazine lists the novel among the top 100 best English language novels of all time. Elaine Showalter one of the judges of the Man Booker Prize, says that 'Things Fall Apart' inaugurated the modern African novel, and showed "the path for writers around the world seeking new words and forms for new realities and societies." Small wonder then that Achebe has been lauded as one of the "Makers of the Twentieth Century." Certainly he illuminated the path forward for African writers. Without 'Things Fall Apart', African literature, particularly West African literature, would probably not have achieved the quality and renown that it has today. I want to consider here, in the fiftieth anniversary year of its publication, the history of the novel's reception; and I shall do so initially by reference in particular to the entangled history of two academic disciplines, literary studies on the one hand and anthropology on the other.