Y ou can now read Achebe’s Things Fall Apart in Persian. Achebe wrote the novel in the late 1950s to counteract the notion that Africa’s past was “one long night of savagery.” The novel has become a modern classic and has been translated into more than 50 languages. Perhaps, as an effort to endorse this new translation by Ali Hodavand and also to promote his new book, There Was a Country–A Personal History of Biafra, Achebe did an interview with Nasrin Pourhamrang, Iranian journalist and calligrapher who is also the chief editor of Hatef weekly magazine. Drawing him out with excellent questions, Pourhamrang got Achebe to speak about a whole range of things, including his stint as a children’s book writer, the difficulties of nurturing an African readership in the early days of the African novel, and his work at Brown University. He even went into some of the bitter controversies of the 60s about writing African novels in European languages. Congrats to Achebe for the new translation and the new book! Read interview HERE!
I decided to write for children as a matter of urgency and necessity. I first noticed there was a problem when I had my first child Chinelo and went to the bookshopsto buy books for her. This was soon after independence from Great Britain. The books about Africa for children were, to put it mildly, not appropriate. So I decided that if I did not like the content of the children’s books, I would write my own. — Chinua Achebe (Read the full interview HERE)