Today’s Google doodle marks what would have been the 87th birthday of the Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe.
Best known for his novel “Things Fall Apart,” Achebe began writing during the 1950s, building his stories around the culture and traditions of Nigeria’s Igbo people. He is the author of five novels, four children’s books and several collections of poetry, short stories, essays and non-fiction.
“His characters were insiders — everyday people such as the village chief (in “Things Fall Apart”), the priest (in “Arrow of God”), or the school teacher (in “A Man of the People”),” writes the Google doodle team, “Through their stories, we witness a Nigeria at the crossroads of civilization, culture, and generations.”
As Google notes, Achebe is recognized by many as the father of modern African literature, and was awarded the Man Booker Prize in 2007. During his career, he received a number of literary awards and earned more than 30 honorary degrees from universities across the globe.
Today’s doodle leads to a search for “Chinua Achebe” and highlights images from his novels. The Google doodle team shared the following initial sketches of the doodle on the Google Doodle blog:
Here is the full doodle that currently resides on Google’s home page in the US and Nigeria:
In a 1994 interview with The Paris Review, Achebe shared what drove him as a writer: “There is that great proverb — that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter. That did not come to me until much later. Once I realized that, I had to be a writer. I had to be that historian.”
Achebe said writing was something he had to do to make sure, “… the story of the hunt will also reflect the agony, the travail — the bravery, even, of the lions.”
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