Chinua Achebe, author of the ground-breaking Things Fall Apart amongst numerous other novels, poems and works of literary criticism, is widely recognised as the Founding Father of African Literature. He is pictured here with Nelson Mandela, who has famously described Achebe as “the writer in whose company the prison walls came down”, and who “brought Africa to the rest of the world.” Achebe’s contribution to both literary and academic fields, as well as his broader social and political contribution to his home-country of Nigeria, the African continent and beyond, was prolific and invaluable. He died on 21st March of this year in the US, where he held a professorship at Brown University. His funeral took place in Nigeria on Thursday, 23rd May 2013.
To mark the death of this literary great, ORbits is this week running a special “Chinua Achebe Week”. Each day ORbits will publish an article about or relating to Chinua Achebe and his broader literary, historical and political context, including an obituary  written exclusively for ORbits by Elleke Boehmer , Professor of World Literature in English at the University of Oxford, a review by Asha Rogers  of a recent postcolonial writing and theory seminar held to mark the 50th Anniversary of the African Writers Series, and a review of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s latest novel, Americanah , by Vincent van Bever Donker . We’ve also a special Chinua Achebe oriented Weekly Roundup  with links to a range of articles relating to Achebe.