Amazon released a list of 100 books to read in one’s lifetime and late Nigerian author Chinua Achebe’s masterpiece novel “Things Fall Apart” was on it. This comes as no surprise but is still seen as an honour for the late author who died last year, March 21 2013. “Things Fall Apart” was listed under Tradition V Change.
The list by Amazon which also includes great literary works like George Orwell’s “1984”, Charles Dickens‘ “Great Expectation”, Isak Dinesen‘s “Out of Africa”, Malcolm X and Alex Haley‘s “The Autobiography of Malcom X”, Anne Frank’s “The Diary of Anne Frank”, and much more.
Amazon.com is the world’s largest online retailer. The list was compiled by Amazon Books editorial team, and contains a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction books. The Amazon Books editorial team plans to audit the list regularly in order to ensure it always stays culturally relevant.
Editorial Director of Print and Kindle Books at Amazon.com, Sara Nelson, states “We listed the books alphabetically by title because our assumption is that no book is more important than another.” She said the list was created through taxing months of deliberation among her team, though no mathematical algorithms were used.
Things Fall Apart
Things Fall Apart was published in 1958 and the book is considered by critics and book lovers to be one of the most important pieces of literature to come out of Africa. The 50th anniversary of the 200-odd page novel was celebrated all over the world in 2008 with festivals, readings, symposia, concerts etc. The novel has been translated to more than 50 languages and has sold over 10 million copies. It is taught not just in literature classes but in history and anthropology departments in colleges and universities across the globe.
The book tells the deceptively simple story of Okonkwo, a “strong man” whose life is dominated by the fear of failure. As a teenager he brought honour to his village by throwing the hitherto unbeatable Amalinze the Cat in a wrestling match. His fame spread through the nine villages of Umuofia and even beyond like harmattan bushfire, but he remained troubled that his father Unoka was a debtor and a failure. As if to compound matters, Okonkwo notices weakness in his own son, Nwoye, and he comes to the sad conclusion that raging fire only ends up as impotent ash.
Read more about the 100 Books To Read In A Lifetime on Amazon, CNN and AllAfrica.
Full List of Booksby