Written during a period of nationalist assertion and an emerging modern culture in Africa, Things Fall Apart's influence quickly spread from Nigeria throughout Africa and beyond. In its fifty years, this unforgettable vel has been translated into fifty languages and has been read by millions. A Chrology of Achebe's life and work and a Selected Bibliography are also included.
Francis Abiola Irele, formerly Professor of French, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, was for several years Professor of African, French, and Comparative Literature at the Ohio State University. After retiring from Ohio State in 2003, he became Visiting Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Among his many publications are The Cambridge History of African and Caribbean Literature (edited with Simon Gikandi) and two collections of essays, The African Experience in Literature and Ideology and The African Imagination: Literature in Africa and the Black Diaspora. He is a contributing editor to The Norton Anthology of World Literature and General Editor of the Cambridge Studies in African and Caribbean Literature series.