Nigerian Nobel laureate Soyinka mourns Achebe



LAGOS- Africa's first Nobel literature laureate Wole Soyinka and a renowned poet, John Pepper Clark, said Friday they have lost "a brother, a colleague" with the death of Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe.
"For us, the loss of Chinua Achebe is, above all else, intensely personal. We have lost a brother, a colleague, a trailblazer and a doughty fighter," they said in a joint statement, a copy of which was sent to AFP.



Achebe, 82, died in a hospital in Boston after a brief illness, his family said Friday.
Widely known as the father of modern African literature, Achebe had lived and worked as a professor in the United States in recent years, most recently at Brown University in Rhode Island.
He is best known internationally for his debut novel "Things Fall Apart", which depicts the collision between British rule and traditional Igbo culture in his native southeast Nigeria.
"Of the 'pioneer quartet' of contemporary Nigerian literature, two voices have been silenced - one, of the poet Christopher Okigbo, and now, the novelist Chinua Achebe," the statement said.
Okigbo died during the "Biafra" civil war in 1967-70.
"...We confidently assert that Chinua lives. His works provide their enduring testimony to the domination of the human spirit over the forces of repression, bigotry, and retrogression," it said.
Soyinka, Achebe, Okigbo and Clark were literary contemporaries.
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Saturday, March 23rd 2013
AFP
           


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