El's Reviews > No Longer at Ease

No Longer at Ease by Chinua Achebe
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's review
Jan 18, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: 20th-centurylit-late
Read in January, 2009

This 1960 sequel to Achebe's Things Fall Apart is the story of Obi Okonkwo, the grandson of the protagonist in Things Fall Apart. Obi has the opportunity and fortune to study in Britain, and in the process is more removed from his African roots. At times it reminded me of American novels of the turn-of-the-century in which the main character, usually a young woman, leaves her home for a bigger city and is confronted by opposition - like Dreiser's Sister Carrie. Obi is the one who needs to make do in this new place, struggling with a different culture, different language, different personalities and different motivations, the last of which turns out to be Obi's biggest challenges as he eventually is accused of accepting a bribe.

This is a different story than Things Fall Apart, but clearly of the same writer. No Longer at Ease can easily stand alone but is interesting to read on the heels of his first book, if for no other reason than to compare Obi to his grandfather. After reading Okonkwo's experiences in Umuofia and with the Christians coming in to convert the people, you can trace Obi's path to Britain to study and work.
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