Chinua Achebe was born in Eastern Nigeria in 1930, the son of missionary teachers in an Ibo community. He attended the University College in Ibadan from 1948 tp 1953. He then received a B.A. from London University in 1953. After teaching for a few months, he joined the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation in Lagos, where he remained until 1966. This job gave him the opportunity to travel abroad and in Africa, which enabled him to discover his own past traditions.
In 1966, on the eve of the Civil War, he left Lagos and went to live among the Ibo to be near his people. When his region, now called Biafra, separated from the federation of Nigeria, he was sent to Europe and the U.S on political missions on behalf of the Biafran cause.
In 1969 he took part in the peace negotiation which would lead to Biafra's surrender in 1970. In 1972 he was invited to U.S, where he taught at the universities of Massachusetts, Connecticut and others.
In 1983 he accepted the honorary title of Deputy President of the People's Redemption Party, the first political party in Nigeria. His best- known works include Things fall Apart (1958) and Anthills of the Savannah (1988). Nowadays Achebe is considered not only the best Nigerian novelist but one of the best novelists writing in English. When he started writing he felt that his duty was to restore dignity to his own people. He also believed that a novelist have a social commitment and that "any good story, any good novel, should have a message, should have a purpose" since "art is, and always was, at the service of man" (Morning Yet on Creation Day, Heinemann, London, 1977).
In his novels he is above all concerned with two themes: one, connected with the colonial period of Nigeria, regards the destruction of the old values and traditions brought about by the coming of the Europeans; the other,linked to post- colonial times, denounces the corruption and inefficiency still present in the country after independence.