First novel: Things Fall Apart

The first novel we’ll be reading and discussing in this seminar is Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart -one of the most canonical and widely read modern African novels.  We’ll read it in conjunction with some critical writing by Achebe (probably his essay on Conrad – if you haven’t read Heart of Darkness, doing so would be a good idea, and excerpts from Achebe’s essay are reprinted in the Norton Critical Edition of that text) along with criticism by Simon Gikandi, Ato Quayson, and others.

I’m not sure I’m going to ask you to have finished the novel for the first week of class – we’ll likely “warm up” with some short fictional and critical writings – but I thought I’d let you know the plan as best I know it myself.

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