Chinua Achebe's African Trilogy

The novels by Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe can be counted among the classics of anglophone literature in Africa. Especially his first three novels, Things Fall Apart (1958), No Longer at Ease (1960) and Arrow of God (1964), which have been combined under the title of The African Trilogy, form a fascinating chronicle of the colonial encounter between European and African culture in West Africa and the conflicts arising therefrom. The novels trace the consequences of this through various generations in the form of a family saga that extends from the 19th century until post-independence in the sixties of the 20th century. In addition to his creative writing Achebe has been quite vociferous as a literary critic. His seminal articles on the function of literature, especially in an African context, and his preference for writing in English rather than his native Igbo will be discussed in conjunction with the novels. Students are asked to buy and read the following text before the start of the semester: Chinua Achebe, The African Trilogy, London: Picador, 1988.