Hopes and Impediments

Selected Essays

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Paperback
$24.00 US
5.23"W x 7.94"H x 0.5"D  
On sale Sep 01, 1990 | 208 Pages | 978-0-385-41479-1
Winner of the Man Booker International Prize

One of most provocative and original voices in contemporary literature, Chinua Achebe here considers the place of literature and art in our society in a collection of essays spanning his best writing and lectures from the last twenty-three years. For Achebe, overcoming Eurocentrism in our appreciation of works of the imagination goes hand in hand with eradicating the destructive effects of racism and injustice in Western society. He reveals impediments that still stand in the way of open, equal dialogue between Africans and Europeans, between blacks and whites, but also instills us with hope that they will soon be overcome.

“A brilliant collection. . . .  [Achebe’s] thoughts always pack a provocative wallop. . . . Mr. Achebe aims to nudge readers to think past their stubborn preconceptions, and he succeeds marvelously.” —New York Times Book Review

“These essays are funny, lucid, intelligent, and formed by a historical experience that is still too little understood in the United States. . . . [Achebe is] a powerful voice for cultural decolonialization.” —Village Voice


TABLE OF CONTENTS
An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness
Impediments to Dialogue Between North and South
Named for Victoria, Queen of England
The Novelist as Teacher
The Writer and His Community
The Igbo World and Its Art
Colonialist Criticism
Thoughts on the African Novel
Work and Play in Tutuola’s The Palm-Wine Drinkard
Don’ t Let Him Die: A Tribute to Christopher Okigbo
Kofi Awoonor as Novelist
Language and the Destiny of Man
The Truth of Fiction
What Has Literature Got To Do With It?
Postcript: James Baldwin (1924-1987)
Notes and index
© Don Hamerman
Chinua Achebe was born in Nigeria in 1930. His first novel, Things Falls Apart, became a classic of international literature and required reading for students worldwide. He also authored four subsequent novels, two short-story collections, and numerous other books. He was the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University and, for more than 15 years, was the Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College. In 2007, Achebe was awarded the Man Booker International Prize for lifetime achievement. He died in 2013. View titles by Chinua Achebe
  • WINNER | 2007
    Man Booker International Prize
"A brilliant collection... [Achebe's] thoughts always pack a provacative wallop...Mr. Achebe aims to nudge readers to think past their stubborn preconceptions, and he succeeds marvelously."—New York Times Book Review"We are indebted to Achebe for reminding us that art has social and moral dimensions—a truth often obscured by the nihilism fashionable in the West."—Chicago Tribune"Western writers could learn much from these African visions, not because they radiate universal truths in the way Europe has seen itself doing, but precisely because they are so divergent from, so seemingly irrelevant to our head-down anxieties...Its truth lies in its diversity."—New Statesman and Society"These essays are funny, lucid, intelligent, and formed by a historical experience that is still too little understood in the United States. . . [Achebe is] a powerful voice for cultural decolonization."—The Village Voice

About

Winner of the Man Booker International Prize

One of most provocative and original voices in contemporary literature, Chinua Achebe here considers the place of literature and art in our society in a collection of essays spanning his best writing and lectures from the last twenty-three years. For Achebe, overcoming Eurocentrism in our appreciation of works of the imagination goes hand in hand with eradicating the destructive effects of racism and injustice in Western society. He reveals impediments that still stand in the way of open, equal dialogue between Africans and Europeans, between blacks and whites, but also instills us with hope that they will soon be overcome.

“A brilliant collection. . . .  [Achebe’s] thoughts always pack a provocative wallop. . . . Mr. Achebe aims to nudge readers to think past their stubborn preconceptions, and he succeeds marvelously.” —New York Times Book Review

“These essays are funny, lucid, intelligent, and formed by a historical experience that is still too little understood in the United States. . . . [Achebe is] a powerful voice for cultural decolonialization.” —Village Voice


TABLE OF CONTENTS
An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness
Impediments to Dialogue Between North and South
Named for Victoria, Queen of England
The Novelist as Teacher
The Writer and His Community
The Igbo World and Its Art
Colonialist Criticism
Thoughts on the African Novel
Work and Play in Tutuola’s The Palm-Wine Drinkard
Don’ t Let Him Die: A Tribute to Christopher Okigbo
Kofi Awoonor as Novelist
Language and the Destiny of Man
The Truth of Fiction
What Has Literature Got To Do With It?
Postcript: James Baldwin (1924-1987)
Notes and index

Author

© Don Hamerman
Chinua Achebe was born in Nigeria in 1930. His first novel, Things Falls Apart, became a classic of international literature and required reading for students worldwide. He also authored four subsequent novels, two short-story collections, and numerous other books. He was the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University and, for more than 15 years, was the Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College. In 2007, Achebe was awarded the Man Booker International Prize for lifetime achievement. He died in 2013. View titles by Chinua Achebe

Awards

  • WINNER | 2007
    Man Booker International Prize

Praise

"A brilliant collection... [Achebe's] thoughts always pack a provacative wallop...Mr. Achebe aims to nudge readers to think past their stubborn preconceptions, and he succeeds marvelously."—New York Times Book Review"We are indebted to Achebe for reminding us that art has social and moral dimensions—a truth often obscured by the nihilism fashionable in the West."—Chicago Tribune"Western writers could learn much from these African visions, not because they radiate universal truths in the way Europe has seen itself doing, but precisely because they are so divergent from, so seemingly irrelevant to our head-down anxieties...Its truth lies in its diversity."—New Statesman and Society"These essays are funny, lucid, intelligent, and formed by a historical experience that is still too little understood in the United States. . . [Achebe is] a powerful voice for cultural decolonization."—The Village Voice

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