Resolution J1186-2013

Mourning the death of paramount novelist Chinua Achebe, founder and pioneer of African literature



  • Apr 17, 2013: ADOPTED
  • Apr 10, 2013: REFERRED TO FINANCE


LEGISLATIVE  RESOLUTION  mourning the death of paramount novelist Chinua
Achebe, founder and pioneer of African literature

WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body to pay tribute to  the
lives  of those esteemed individuals of international renown who distin-
guished themselves through their life's work; and
  WHEREAS, Foremost novelist, Professor Chinua Achebe, died on Thursday,
March 21, 2013, at the age of 82; and
  WHEREAS, Born Albert Chinualumogu Achebe, on November 16, 1930, Chinua
Achebe was a Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic; he was best
known for his 1958 novel, THINGS FALL APART,  selling  over  12  million
copies  around  the world, and having been translated into 50 languages,
making him the most paraphrased African writer of all time; and
  WHEREAS, Raised by his parents in the Igbo town of Ogidi in southeast-
ern Nigeria, Chinua Achebe excelled academically and earned  a  scholar-
ship  for  undergraduate  studies; he became fascinated with world reli-
gions and traditional African cultures, and began writing stories  as  a
college student; and
  WHEREAS,  After  graduation,  Chinua  Achebe  worked  for the Nigerian
Broadcasting Service (NBS) and soon moved to the metropolis of Lagos; he
gained worldwide attention for  THINGS  FALL  APART;  his  later  novels
include:  NO  LONGER  AT  EASE (1960), ARROW OF GOD (1964), A MAN OF THE
PEOPLE (1966), and ANTHILLS OF THE SAVANNAH (1987); and
  WHEREAS, When the region of Biafra broke away from  Nigeria  in  1967,
Chinua  Achebe  became  a supporter of Biafran independence and acted as
ambassador for the people of the new nation; the war ravaged  the  popu-
lace,  and  as starvation and violence took its toll, he appealed to the
people of Europe and the Americas for assistance; and
  WHEREAS, When the Nigerian government retook the region in 1970, Chin-
ua Achebe involved himself in political parties, but soon  resigned  due
to  frustration  over  the  corruption and elitism he witnessed, thereby
deciding to devote himself to academia; he lived in  the  United  States
for  several  years in the 1970s, and returned there in 1990 after a car
accident left him partially disabled; and
  WHEREAS, Chinua Achebe's novels focus on the traditions of Igbo socie-
ty, the effect of Christian influences, and the  clash  of  Western  and
traditional  African values during and after the colonial era; his style
relies heavily on the Igbo oral tradition, and combines  straightforward
narration  with  representations of folk stories, proverbs, and oratory;
he also published a number of short stories, children's books, and essay
collections; and
  WHEREAS, A David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and  Profes-
sor  of  Africana  Studies  at Brown University, Chinua Achebe worked up
until the time of his death; and
  WHEREAS, New York's Bard College,  with  a  distinguished  history  of
supporting Chinua Achebe's work and legacy, will continue to be a prima-
ry home for his projects; and
  WHEREAS,  Professor  Achebe's global significance lies not only in his
talent and recognition as a writer, but also as a critical  thinker  and
essayist who has written extensively on questions of the role of culture
in Africa along with the social and political significance of aesthetics
and analysis of the postcolonial state in Africa; and
  WHEREAS,  Chinua Achebe distinguished himself in his profession and by
his sincere dedication and substantial contribution to  the  welfare  of
his community; and

  WHEREAS,  Chinua  Achebe's commitment to excellence, and his spirit of
humanity, carried over into all fields of enterprise, including charita-
ble and civic endeavors; and
  WHEREAS,  Chinua Achebe is survived by his wife, Christie, their chil-
dren, Chinelo, Ikechukwu, Chidi, and Nwando as well  as  his  grandchil-
dren, Chochi, Chino, Chidera, C.J. (Chinua Jr.), Nnamdi and Zeal; and
  WHEREAS,  Armed  with  a  humanistic spirit and imbued with a sense of
compassion, Chinua Achebe leaves behind a legacy which will long  endure
the  passage  of  time  and will remain as a comforting memory to all he
served and befriended; now, therefore, be it
  RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause  in  its  deliberations  to
mourn the death of paramount novelist Chinua Achebe, founder and pioneer
of African literature; and be it further
  RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to the family of Chinua Achebe.


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