Chinua Achebe, Father of Modern African Literature, breathes his last

Delhi: Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, also known as the ‘father of modern African literature’, has died at the age of 82 after a brief illness.

Achebe, who was given the title by South African writer and Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer in 2007 while awarding him the Man Booker International Prize, had been living in the US since 1990, following injuries from a car crash which had left him partially paralysed, the BBC reports.

Offering his condolences to the grieving family of the author, former South African president and anti-apartheid fighter Nelson Mandela praised Achebe as a writer `in whose company the prison walls fell down’.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan also offered his condolences, saying that Achebe`s admirers had all learnt "indelible lessons of human existence" from his works.

Jonathan further stated that Achebe`s frank, truthful and fearless interventions in national affairs will be greatly missed in Nigeria, along with his patriotism and sincere commitment to the building of a greater, more united and prosperous nation.

Born 30 years before Nigeria`s independence in 1930, Achebe was one of Africa`s best known authors, with his 1958 debut novel ‘Things Fall Apart’, which dealt with the impact of colonialism in Africa, selling more than 10 million copies.

The writer and academic wrote more than 20 works - some fiercely critical of politicians and a failure of leadership in Nigeria, the report added.