African literary titan Chinua Achebe sadly passed away today.
Beloved author and poet Chinua Achebe passed away earlier today due to complications from a “brief illness.” The influential author, best known for his masterly depiction of the clash between traditional African values and colonial Western influences, was 82 years old. Although his name has become synonymous with the title of his magnum opus Things Fall Apart --of obvious and special significance to fans of The Roots and their own opus of the same name--Achebe's catalog was deep and his contribution to English literature almost too wide to get your arms around. It’s a sad day not only for the continent and the diaspora but for the written word, period. We'll keep updating below with reactions.
Novelist, poet, essayist, influence Chinua Achebe has passed away. I'm so glad to have met him. RIP, live on through the legacy of your work— black thought (@blackthought) March 22, 2013
He was the complete artist--complex nuanced vexing inventive and dauntingly furiously courageous. For this writer from the African diaspora, he was a profound influence. I remember the first time I read him--it was like an awakening. — Junot Diaz (via e-mail)
"Let no one be fooled by the fact that we may write in English, for we intend to do unheard of things with it."—Chinua Achebe.— Teju Cole (@tejucole) March 22, 2013
"I admired his honesty and uncompromising attitude towards bad leadership in Africa" — Femi Kuti (via e-mail)
All the greatest of energy towards his next phase as a spirit on a journey through the infinite. Much thanks Chinua Achebe. RIP.— Jean Grae (@JeanGreasy) March 22, 2013
RIP. “Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter." - Chinua Achebe— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) March 22, 2013
My literary Hero Chinua Achebe has passed on...— Isaiah Washington IV (@IWashington) March 22, 2013
'he has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.'― chinua achebe— warsan shire (@warsan_shire) March 22, 2013
“If you don't like someone's story, write your own.” ― Chinua Achebe— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) March 22, 2013