Things Fall Apart
Okonkwo is a leader and wrestling champion in his village. He is known to be hard working and shows no weakness — emotional or otherwise — to anyone. Although brusque with his family and neighbors, he is wealthy, courageous, and powerful among the people of his village. He is a leader of his village, and his place in that society is what he has striven for his entire life. Because of his great esteem in the village, Okonkwo is selected by the elders to be the guardian of Ikemefuna, a boy taken prisoner by the village as a peace settlement between two villages after his father killed an Umuofian woman. Ikemefuna is to stay with Okonkwo until the Oracle instructs the elders on what to do with the boy. For three years the boy lives with Okonkwo's family and Okonkwo grows fond of him. The boy looks up to Okonkwo and considers him a second father. Then the elders decide that the boy must be killed. The oldest man in the village warns Okonkwo, telling him to have nothing to do with the murder because it would be like killing his own child. Rather than seem weak and feminine to the other men of the village, Okonkwo participates in the murder of the boy despite the warning from the old man. In fact, Okonkwo himself strikes the killing blow as Ikemefuna begs him for protection. Shortly after Ikemefuna's death, things begin to go wrong for Okonkwo. When he accidentally kills someone at a ritual funeral ceremony when his gun explodes, he and his family are sent into exile for seven years to appease the gods he has offended. While Okonkwo is away in exile, white men begin coming to Umuofia and they peacefully introduce their religion. As the number of converts increases, the foothold of the white people grows beyond their religion...
Written by Chinua Achebe, listed in the Fiction genre.
Winner of multiple award