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Achebe And The Quest For Nobel Prize

The controversies that trailed Prof. Achebe’s last book—There Was a Country: A Personal History Of Biafra—came from different perspectives. While some people saw the book as one that came to shed more light on the events of the Nigerian/Biafran war, others saw it as a book that should not have been published in the first place. The proponents of the second group came up with so many reasons—from the book being an attack on some personalities and a particular ethnic group, to Achebe being anti-Nigeria, one whose book, they claim, fanned the embers of disunity. But one of the reasons given by this group that caught my attention was the one that said that Achebe was bitter with a particular ethnic group because he failed to win the Nobel Prize in Literature which a kinsman of this ethnic group won in 1986. Even now that he has died, some articles have been written on this issue of Nobel Prize; while some are regretting that Achebe did not win the prize, others are pointing out from their personal views what Achebe should have written or should not have written in order to win the prize. Some are even praying and hoping that he wins the prize posthumously. At the end of the day, one almost gets the impression that Achebe set out to win the Nobel Prize in Literature but failed.

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Archbishop of Canterbury lauds Achebe , dispatches emissary to funeral

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primate of All England (the ‘first bishop’ of England), and the head of the global Anglican communion, the Most Reverend Justin Welby has sent a letter of condolences to the Achebe family and has asked his distinguished World Mission Adviser Rev Canon Andrew Charles Wheeler of the Diocese of Guildford to be his representative at Professor Chinua Achebe’s funeral in Ogidi, Anambra State, Nigeria, on May 23rd, 2013.

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