Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe is widely regarded as the most important of the numerous African novelists who gained global attention in the second half of the 20th century. Achebe is certainly the African writer best known in the West, and his first novel, Things Fall Apart, is a founding text of postcolonial African literature and regarded as one of the central works of world literature of the last 50 years. Though best known as a novelist, Achebe is also a critic, activist, and spokesman for African culture. This reference is a comprehensive and authoritative guide to his life and writings. Included are several hundred alphabetically arranged entries. Some of these are substantive summary discussions of Achebe's major works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Other topics include: * All of his major fictional characters and settings * Important concepts and issues central to his writings * Historical persons, places, and events relevant to his works * Influential texts by other writers Entries are written by expert contributors and close with brief bibliographies. The volume also provides a general bibliography and chronology.