Achebe’s death at the age of 82 was announced Friday by his publisher. His works inspired countless writers around the world, though the literary style of “Things Fall Apart,” first published in 1958, particularly transformed the way novelists wrote about Africa.
Adewale Maja-Pearce, a literary critic who succeeded Achebe as the editor of Heinemann’s African Writers Series, called him a pioneer whose “contribution is immeasurable.”
In breaking with the Eurocentric lens of viewing the continent through the eyes of outsiders, Achebe took readers to a place full of complex characters who told their stories in their own words and style.
Achebe once wrote that a major goal “was to challenge stereotypes, myths, and the image of ourselves and our continent.”