Monday, May 22, 2017

ARROW OF GOD. By Chinua Achebe

Literature can often puzzle and startle one, including African
literature - the way we receive and criticise books. A good example is
Ghana's world class writer, Ayi Kwei Armah; the literary world keeps
on praising him and his first novel, The beautyful ones are not yet
born. Yet Armah was a young man, still developing, when the book came
out, and critics did not seem to care about his subsequent, better
works over the decades. This seems to be the case too with Achebe,
whose first novel, Things fall apart, is always talked about and
praised. Yet this one, Arrow of God, published many years after Things
fall apart, is in many ways better and more mature than Things fall
apart. Arrow of God is more mature and Achebe is at his
best, displaying great knowledge of indigenous black characters, and
also the white (imperial agents) characters too. There is a startling
objectivity and detachment that one would not expect from a African
(black) writer. Yet Achebe, like he did in Things fall apart,
brilliantly goes to the heart of Igbo customs and proverbs throughout
this work. The narrative is ultimately tragic of course - as one might
- H Ozogula

1 comment:

Eric said...

A magnificent novel, Arrow of God; full of profound all-round insights, humour, and shocking pathos in the end