Decolonizing My Literary Mind

Decolonizing My Literary Mind

Things Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe

As cliché as it might sound, Things Fall Apart was the book that did ‘it’ for me. For too long my literary world was colonized, I had never read any literature by Nigerians apart from stories in the  MacMillan English readers. I had unconsciously assumed that we had no literature worth close reading and analysis, until I reluctantly signed up to do a presentation on ‘Things Fall Apart’ in my literature class.
“Okonkwo was well-known throughout the nine villages and even beyond” I had no idea my world was about to transform after reading those lines. Achebe introduced me to African Literature. There was something serenading in the way he wrote, it was the rhythm that got me hooked. Things Fall Apart tore down the walls that colonial mentality had so carefully constructed.
I say this because prior to reading ‘Things Fall Apart’ I had been given a copy of ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’  but I stalled in the reading process, I was still locked up, battling within myself, that it was quite a task to pleasantly enjoy the piece of literature before me. After reading Things Fall Apart, I felt like a new convert hungering for more wisdom, things fell apart and my fondness for African literature grew. Today, I’m almost unstoppable as I continue to explore the Nigerian literary scene, appreciating the boldness in the works of the greats – Soyinka, Egbunna, and Okara, and encountering nostalgia in Adichie, Nwaubani and Atta.

Adiba Obubo, The Netherlands

11 thoughts on “Decolonizing My Literary Mind” by Addy Bardust (@addybardust)

  1. You definitely got your independence. lol
    Good review.

  2. hmmmm,good one.
    found it interesting.

  3. It’s great to see that newer and newer talents are being discovered. I am presently reading Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani’s book “I do not come to you by chance” Really captivating! A story close to heart and in a styly I understand.

    Decolonizing My Literary Mind is a very good heading. Yes, we can!

  4. if i hadnt read the book, i would gone to pick it up. Nice review

  5. now that u have been freed, make sure neo-colonialism doeant bog you like 9ja…literature in all its genres is the best thing one can get as a 1st love…as for the piece, very nice…african literature is sweet, The River Between by Ngugi, Oyono’s The Old Man and The Medal, the Rivals, Violence by Iyayi etc,…they are so so so so cool

  6. This is nostalgic. tho i havent read alot of african literature, your piece sparks some memory of stories in an african setting.
    PS: Have you read “Mallam Illia’s Passport”?

    1. Mallam Ilya’s Passport is one of my favourite books of all time.

  7. Mallam Illia’s passport,Cyprian Ekwensi…. very nice book. i wept the first time i read the book, out of pity for the man. we have many fantastic African books.

  8. Glad your mind has been liberated. There is a special skill African writing has in the way the story unfolds and the depth of expression…perhaps it’s a cultural thing.


  10. … a beautiful one…

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