Major Celebrations Planned to Mark the 50th Anniversary of the Publication of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart

Fifty years ago, Nigerian author Chinua Achebe published his first novel, Things Fall Apart. The book ushered in a new era of Africans writing literature in English. The book explores the impact of colonialism and the advent of Christianity to Nigeria at the beginning of the twentieth century. The book has been translated into more than 50 languages and has sold more than 12 million copies.

Major celebrations are scheduled around the world to commemorate the publication of Things Fall Apart. The University of London’s School of Advanced Study is holding a two-day conference this coming October. Osmania University in Hyderabad, India, is holding a similar event. Major conferences will be held in several European cities, in Rio de Janeiro and in Canada. In the United States, conferences are planned in Houston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and other cities.

Princeton University is urging all members of the campus community to read the novel during the month of March. The university will hold lectures, seminars, poetry readings, and art exhibits relating to the book. The celebration will culminate with a visit by Professor Achebe to campus on March 26.

Chinua Achebe is currently Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College in Annandale, New York. Bard will also hold a major international conference on the book later this year.