Chinua Achebe, the great Nigerian novelist and essayist has died in Boston, Massachusetts, at age 82 after a brief illness. Achebe's celebrated career began when he burst on the scene in 1958 with the publication of Things Fall Apart. This remarkable novel presents a native chieftain's downfall at the hands of the British. Following the broad outlines of the tragic novel, Achebe's novel is credited with bringing African post-colonial fiction to a wider audience.
In describing Achebe as a person, his agent, Andrew Wylie said, "He was also a beloved husband, father, uncle and grandfather, whose wisdom and courage are an inspiration to all who knew him" (USA Today).
Though Things Fall Apart is by far Achebe's best known work, he continued to write compelling fiction, including such works as A Man of the People. His last work of fiction, Anthills of the Savannah, was published in 1987. Achebe was also an accomplished essayists, with his work addressing issues ranging from literary criticism to political commentary. He also published poetry, short stories, and children's books during his long career.
Though Achebe was often mentioned as a potential Nobel laureate, he was never awarded the prize. In 2007, he won the Man Booker Prize, and in 2010, he was awarded The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize (Wikipedia).