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Home and Exile Paperback – September 18, 2001

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Editorial Reviews


"A master narrative."
--The New York Times Book Review

"Spare and moving... The many admirers of Achebe's fiction will find here a rare opportunity to glimpse a bit of the man behind the monumental novels."
--Chicago Tribune

"Soulful... A book that anyone concerned with advancing social justice and human dignity should read.
--The Seattle Times

From the Inside Flap

More personally revealing than anything Achebe has written, Home and Exile-the great Nigerian novelist's first book in more than ten years-is a major statement on the importance of stories as real sources of power, especially for those whose stories have traditionally been told by outsiders.

In three elegant essays, Achebe seeks to rescue African culture from narratives written about it by Europeans. Looking through the prism of his experiences as a student in English schools in Nigeria, he provides devastating examples of European cultural imperialism. He examines the impact that his novel Things Fall Apart had on efforts to reclaim Africa's story. And he argues for the importance of writing and living the African experience because, he believes, Africa needs stories told by Africans.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 114 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (September 18, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385721331
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385721332
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.4 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #210,670 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By "xirsi" on October 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
Long live the proud son of Africa and our respected statesman.
Achebe the honest and truthful dispenser of both sides of the story. Colonial griots (to borrow Achebe's words) such as Elspeth Huxley and other apologists have for too long been left alone to justify the dispossession of precious lands and cultures. Until the proud son of Africa made them eat their own words and exposed them for what they are. Dishonest griots deftly laying the groundwork for self-enrichment at the expense of peace loving and decent Human Beings.
Chinua Achebe as exemplified by his few but precious books writes not to make money but only when he must say something useful. Unlike modern day "authors" who are more about money than substance. I have no doubt Achebe can write profound and moving accounts of African and world issues at the rate of one book a day but he chose only to spend his time teaching.
It is obvious why the Nobel Prize went to Wole Soyinka instead of Chinua Achebe. Achebe refuses to write for a "foreign" audience and does not take his marching orders from anybody. He is his own man. Africans and honest people all over the world have in their own ways given Achebe the best prize in the world.
Continuous interest in his worthwhile classics such as Things Fall Apart,The Man of the People,No longer at Ease,Anthills of the Savannah, Morning Yet on Creation Day,Hopes and Impediments and many others.
Home and Exile may be a small book but has enough three pence (from Achebes "somebody knock me down and have three pence!") to liberate nations and individuals from the grip and stench of colonial and racist apologia masquerading as literature.
Long live Achebe, proud son of Africa and citizen of the world.
To know Achebe (by reading his books) is to know how to be an unassuming and proud Human Being who quitely and calmly states his truth for the benefit of us all.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A. Snyder on October 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
Since the book is already well-summarized above, I'll just give my own reaction.

I've read a number of Achebe's novels and one essay (the excellent critique of Heart of Darkness) and really enjoyed the "backstage" feeling of hearing the author's first person voice - an insightful and kindly voice. For me, the effect of Achebe's strong positions is heightened by the dignified presentation, and of course by the poignant and funny stories from his own life that he uses to illustrate those positions. As compared to one of my other favorite authors, James Baldwin, Achebe's writing includes less calls to action, and more explanation. For instance, even in his sharp critique of Vidiadhar Naipaul's novels, Achebe's first priority is to shine light on the processes that led to Naipul's failures of vision. I think people who have read Achebe's fiction or essays and liked it, or generally care about literature from an indigenous or "Third World" perspective will really enjoy this short text. Definitely worth the cost, and may be available from the library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gemma on September 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love Achebe. So I love this collection of three of his essays. His prose is clean and concrete, he is clear and intelligent. Since these are from public lectures he gave at various points, it's easy to read them as they were meant to be engaging. A great little book for anyone interested in learning more about Achebe and postcolonial studies.
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