Lifestyle & Belief

Chinua Achebe: Nigeria author dies at 82


Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe is pictured in 2009 during a welcoming ceremony upon his return to Nigeria for the firrst time in over 10 years. Achebe, whose most famous work is 1958's "Things Fall Apart," has published his long-awaited memoir, "There Was a Country," about the Biafran war.



Renowned Nigerian author Chinua Achebe has died after an illness and hospital stay. He was 82.

Achebe's home state of Anambra, in southeastern Nigeria, was in mourning for its "illustrious son," state spokesman Mike Udah told BBC News.

African newspapers began reporting his death after hearing of his hospital stay this morning in Boston. A source close to Achebe's family said he had been ill for quite some time.

More from GlobalPost: Nigerian author Chinua Achebe publishes new book, "There Was a Country," a memoir of Biafran war

Best known for his 1958 novel "Things Fall Apart," Achebe was a novelist, poet and essayist. He had been living in the United States since 1990 following a car crash that left him injured and was working as the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University before his death.

Achebe is known as the "father of modern African literature," and made his name writing about Nigerian history and the impact of colonialism on African society.

"Things Fall Apart," set in 1890s Nigeria with the influx of Christian missionaries, has been translated into 50 languages and has sold more than 10 million copies. The novel's title comes from the 1919 WB Yeats poem "The Second Coming": "Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world."