Nonino International Prize 1994

Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe’a vast literary work is a magnificent fresco, not only of the African world where the writer comes from, but also of the contemporary reality in general and of its radical and upsetting transformations, of which Nigeria, portrayed by Achebe, becomes a symbolic landscape of great significance. In his novels – among which it is worth to remember the powerful trilogy “Things Fall Apart” – Achebe represents the clash between the African tribal civilization and the European one, which has come to bring together modernity and destruction. The fight of the small African communities against colonialism becomes, out of any easy ideological scheme, a parable of the end of a centuries-old vision of the world that, in this part of the century and millennium, involves the entire planet, invests the entire range of the feelings and values of life, and which Achebe embodies, with the strength of an epic and classic writer, in the destinies, the hopes, the illusions, and the sufferings of unforgettable characters and of an entire population.