Things Fall Apart
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