101 Books to Read Before You Die discussion

Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy, #1)
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Alana (alanasbooks) | 1189 comments Mod
This is a fairly short book, so we'll just do one thread for this one. Please put spoilers in spoiler brackets.

Irene | 1421 comments I read this as a high school student in the 1970s. It will be interesting to re read it as an adult.

Leslie | 21 comments I can't remember how to do spoiler alerts! Scroll down.

This was my first time with this author and region. I really enjoyed it. How disappointing to look online at the modern pictures and see traditional buildings, cities, roads, etc. I found it interesting to see the undertones of so many different religions interwoven in their own. I was loosely familiar with their religion, heavily superstitious, but was not expecting an Oracle. I always love the African folk tales and smiled at so many in this book.

When I read about the special ceremony for the elder spirits, I thought what a beautiful way to honor their ancestors. My heart cried for Okonkwo during the difficult passages of his life. And who couldn't feel the mother's fright when the little girl was feared, then later taken in the dark night! What a beautiful tradition regarding the Mother's homeland in every aspect. There's a violence to the culture, but it is also rich in respect, dignity, and honor.

I hope to read the next in her series.

Irene | 1421 comments Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

I first read this book decades ago as a young high school student and loved it. This story of a Nigerian village being transformed by their initial encounter with British missionaries bent on colonizing the native population is told with a sympathetic bent for the male Nigerians. As a young teen, I was fascinated by the tribal traditions and heartbroken for the loss of this way of life. This time, I was struck by the similarities between the tribal leadership and the Europeans: their shared use of violence to intimidate, their brutality toward those socially weaker than them, their lust for power. I hope this continues to be required reading in high school because I think this is an excellent young adult novel. However, as an older adult, it lacked a level of complexity that I look for when reading.

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