On Chinua Achebe
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on Chinua Achebe.
When, in 1958, the London publishers William Heinemann received a manuscript of Chinua Achebe’s "Things Fall Apart," they were unsure whether to publish it. The central question, according to editor Alan Hill, was this: "Would anyone possibly buy a novel by an African?" Not only were there a mere handful of examples of African writing in English at the time – such as Amos Tutuola’s surreal "The Palm-Wine Drinkard" and Cyprian Ekwensi’s novel of contemporary Lagos, "People of the City" – but none of them had the ambition, the subtlety, or the confidence of "Things Fall Apart."