Emmanuel Ngara


Before we assess Achebe's contribution to the development of African literature we must put the record straight and see things in their proper perspective. It is necessary to start by stating categorically that Achebe was not the first to write realistic fiction in Anglophone Africa. It is a well-known fact that Cyprian Ekwensi, the Nigerian writer, published his People of the City in 1954, four years before Things Fall Apart saw the light of day. In South Africa the first novel in English by a black writer, Sol Plaatje's Mhudi, was published in 1930. In Zimbabwe the first novel to be published in the Shona language, Solomon Mutswairo's Feso, came out in 1957, one year before Things Fall Apart.



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