One of the most celebrated young Nigerian writers, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, says that she read Things Fall Apart when she was around 8 and has periodically reread it. "I find that I liked the same things each time - the familiarity with it. I hadn't realized that people like me could be in a book," she explains.As it happens, all three of these writers-- Adichie, Toni Morrison, and Ha Jin-- will be at the PEN tribute to Achebe taking place a week from today at Town Hall in New York. They'll be joined by Chris Abani, Michael Cunningham, Edwidge Danticat, Suheir Hammad, and Colum McCann. The evening will also feature a special performance by the Francesca Harper Dance Project with dancers from the Alvin Ailey School. And there are still a few tickets available.
Countless others have cited Achebe, from Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, who once called "Things Fall Apart," a "major education" for me, to Ha Jin, a Chinese-American novelist. Achebe himself recalls some letters he received about a decade ago from students at a women's college in South Korea.
Things Fall Apart, fifty years later
Mark Sarvas points to this excellent article about Chinua Achebe and his landmark novel, Things Fall Apart, which recently turned fifty. The article discusses, among other things, the influence of the novel on writers who came after Achebe: