"Once I realized that, I had to be a writer. I had to be that historian," he said.
"It's not one man's job. It's not one person's job. But it is something we have to do, so that the story of the hunt will also reflect the agony, the travail -- the bravery, even, of the lions."
It's hard to overstate what Achebe meant to the literature of the world and of Africa in particular, I think. For much of the Western world, Achebe basically was African literature. In that way, I think his influence and his importance outstrip the quality of his books. If that sounds backhanded, I don't mean it that way--Things Fall Apart is a good novel, but its legacy will always be greater than its literary value. Very few authors did more to share the "bravery... of the lions" of the world. RIP.
Achebe on 50BP:
Things Fall Apart (Brooke)
Things Fall Apart (Christopher)
No Longer At Ease (Christopher)