Although describing Achebe as "the father of African literature" is hyperbolic, it provides a figurative sense of his impact on the Anglophone African authors who followed him. Achebe's Things Fall Apart launched both a counterdiscursive dialogue with exemplars of the Western literary tradition and a number of ongoing intra-African authorial dialogues on themes including the effects of colonialism and patriarchy, the enduring value of African spirituality, the exploitation of tradition, and the place of proverbs and orality. One dialogue that merits closer attention for what it reveals about the deterioration of the social fabric is that of debt and repayment, which begins with the plight of Okonkwo's father, Unoka, and continues in Achebe's own work as well as that of Nwapa and Okri. The work of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, famously described as "the 21st-century daughter of Chinua Achebe," both continues and departs from these ongoing dialogues of the twentieth century.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 142-164
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.