Things Fall Apart

Achebe's first novel portrays the collision of African and European cultures in people's lives. Okonkwo, a great man in Igbo traditional society, cannot adapt to the profound changes brought about by British colonial rule. Yet, as in classic tragedy, Okonkwo's own flaws are at the root of his downfall.

Okonowo is the greatest wrestler and warrior alive and one of the most powerful men of his clan. His fame spreads through West Africa. But he has a fiery temper and when he accidentally kills a clansman, his life falls apart. When Okonkwo returns from exile, missionaries and colonial governors have arrived in the village and he is thrown radically off-balance.

This is an arresting parable of a proud but powerless man who witnesses the ruin of his people. It is the first book in Achebe's landmark trilogy of works chronicling the fate of one African community.

Paperback 208 pages. Published 2006.