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The Education of a British-Protected Child Summary and Reviews

The Education of a British-Protected Child

Essays

by Chinua Achebe

The Education of a British-Protected Child by Chinua Achebe X
The Education of a British-Protected Child by Chinua Achebe
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Book Summary

Chinua Achebe's characteristically measured and nuanced voice is everywhere present in these seventeen beautifully written pieces. In a preface, he discusses his historic visit to his Nigerian homeland on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Things Fall Apart, the story of his tragic car accident nearly twenty years ago, and the potent symbolism of President Obama’s election.

In The Education of a British-Protected Child, Achebe gives us a vivid portrait of growing up in colonial Nigeria and inhabiting its “middle ground,” recalling both his happy memories of reading novels in secondary school and the harsher truths of colonial rule. In “Spelling Our Proper Name,” Achebe considers the African-American diaspora, meeting and reading Langston Hughes and James Baldwin, and learning what it means not to know “from whence he came.” The complex politics and history of Africa figure in “What Is Nigeria to Me?,” “Africa’s Tarnished Name,” and “Politics and Politicians of Language in African Literature.” And Achebe’s extraordinary family life comes into view in “My Dad and Me” and “My Daughters,” where we observe the effect of Christian missionaries on his father and witness the culture shock of raising “brown” children in America.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Humane and carefully argued responses to events of recent years, coupled with a long look back at the African past." - Kirkus Reviews

"Starred Review. Highly recommended for readers interested in African studies and European colonialism from the perspective of the colonized." - Library Journal

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Author Information

Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe, Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College, is the author of five novels, two short-story collections, and numerous other books. In 2007, Achebe was awarded the Man Booker International Prize. He lives with his wife in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.

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