Book Review: Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe (EN)

Book Review: Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe (EN)

This review about the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is based on my reading, the historical context of the novel’s publication, and a text by Noshua Amoras de Morais e Silva (reference below in Portuguese).


Chinua Achebe (born on November 16, 1930, in Ogidi, in British Nigeria) was one of the best known African authors of the 20th century. Achebe is best known for his two notable works: Things Fall Apart and There Was a Country – A Personal History of Biafra. The main themes of his works are the prejudice that Western culture has concerning African culture and the effects of the European colonization of Africa.


What I believe is important about the author’s background for the analysis of the book is that Achebe was born in 1930, exactly 30 years before Nigeria’s independence as a British colony in Africa (October 1, 1960). Therefore, Achebe experienced Nigeria under British colonial rule and was brought up in the traditional Igbo culture. The Igbo people are one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa, with the majority of their population located in southern and western Nigeria. According to “Ecos da Leitura” of Tag Livros, there are trace elements of Igbos that date back more than 1500 years.


Things Fall Apart was published in 1958, when Achebe was 28 years old and tells us about the downfall of the Igbo culture after the arrival of European missionaries in Igbo’s land. The book is divided into three parts and its protagonist is a man called Okonkwo.


Okonkwo is a famous fighter of an Igbo community located in Umuofia. He is considered to have a “bad past” due to his dead father’s actions, however, Okonkwo managed to rise within the community. In the first part of the book, Achebe shows us the Igbo culture in several aspects: worship of ancestors, religiosity and even the position of women in the community.


According to Noshua Amoras, the first thing that falls apart for Okonkwo is when a child in the community dies by his gun. Per Igbo’s people’s culture, killing a clansman is a crime against the earth goddess. So, as a punishment, Okonkwo and his family had to move to Mbanta for seven years in exile. Mbanta is the clan of the protagonist’s mother.
In Mbanta, Okonkwo joined the clan leaders and they discussed European missionaries trying to contact other nearby communities and even building churches in their territories. Shortly thereafter, missionaries arrived in Mbanta and asked the referred local leaders for permission to build a church.


The leaders, in order to keep the missionaries away, authorized them to build the Church in land considered to be cursed. But, to make matters worse, the missionaries succeed on this cursed land and Okonkwo’s son Nwoye joins the missionaries.


According to Noshua Amoras, things do fall completely apart for Okonkwo when he returns to Umuofia and realizes that the white men had already settled in and built a church. Thus, Okonkwo lives with the missionaries in his community and notices how his culture was dying with the strengthening and impositions made by the church.


He tries to create a resistance to ban white men from his territory, but this does not work as he realizes that they do not have enough weapons to fight against the missionaries. Also, they consider that fighting against them would be the same to go to war with a part of their clan, as part of it was converted to the Christian religion.

Click to access noshua_amoras_-_notas_sobre_a_obra_o_mundo_se_despedaça_de_chinua_achebe.pdf

Indicações para o Dia Nacional dos Livros Infantis

Indicações para o Dia Nacional dos Livros Infantis

Eu sempre fui apaixonada por livros infantis e penso que cada vez mais precisamos aumentar a qualidade dos livros para as crianças, até mesmo com respeito à complexidade que as crianças possuem na sua percepção da realidade.

Fugindo um pouco de estereótipos de livros infantis, pedi a indicação da minha amiga @annaagostini94 no Instagram (super engajada nesse tema) para algumas ideias de livros infantis de boa qualidade!

  1. Pedro e Lua – Odilon Moraes

Este livro conta a história de um menino chamado Pedro, fascinado por pedras e pela Lua. Até que em um belo dia, Pedro tropeça em uma tartaruga e vira amigo dela, pois fica impressionado com a similaridade entre as pedras com a casco da tartaruga. Assim, ele a batiza de “Lua” e nasce uma grande amizade entre os dois.

2. Lá e Aqui – Carolina Moreira e Odilon Moraes

O livro fala sobre a separação dos pais, sob o olhar de uma criança. O tema é tratado de maneira muito delicada e mostra como essa experiência pode ser bastante positiva, mas sem deixar de lado o sofrimento inicial do momento da separação.

3. Aperte Aqui – Hervé Tullet

Este livro traz uma alusão ao universo eletrônico dos tablets e, por isso, é super interativo. O livro tem uma pegada de brincadeira, que começa com o convite para que aperte uma bola e vire a página. Assim que a bola é pressionada, como num passe de mágica, surgem mais bolas na página seguinte, conforme a página anterior foi pressionada.

4. Amoras – Emicida

Nesse planeta, Deus tem tanto nome diferente que, para facilitar, decidiu morar no brilho dos olhos da gente”

Este é um livro que eu li e achei muito bom. É bastante poético e trata da representatividade de meninas negras, enfatizando como o negro é lindo. Além de abordar esse tema muito bonito, ainda fala sobre várias religiões de maneira linda e com respeito às diferenças.

5. O Coração e a Garrafa – Oliver Jeffers

Este livro conta sobre a perda de uma pessoa próxima, nesse caso, a história de uma menina que perde o avô e, cheia de imaginação, decidiu guardar seu coração em uma garrafa. Todavia, chega um determinado momento em que esse coração precisa ser resgatado e é um livro sensível com lindas ilustrações.

6. Milhões de Gatos – Gág Wanda e Nathalia Matsumoto

Este livro premiadíssimo, lançado em 1928, conta a história de um herói que sai em busca do gato mais belo, sendo que este gato poderá trazer felicidade para o seu lar. Essa história traz diversas reflexões muito boas como a definição de beleza e se, de fato, ela traz felicidade.

7. Nós: uma Antologia de Literatura Indígena – Maurício Negro

Eu gosto muito desse livro e até fiz um post sobre ele no Instagram (@thereadingdog). É um livro que conta diversas histórias infantis de diferentes grupos indígenas do Brasil, como os Krenak, Guarani Mbyá, Taurepang e Maraguá. Os povos indígenas existem e resistem há muitos séculos e possuem um enorme conhecimento desprezado pela nossa sociedade eurocêntrica. Nesse sentido, acho que esse livro nos oferece uma perspectiva única de conexão com a natureza.

Meus contos prediletos são “Hariporia, A Origem do Açaí” e “Guaruguá, o Peixe-Boi dos Maraguá”.

8. O Menino Perfeito – Bernat Cormand

Este livro é de temática LGBTQ++ e conta a história de Daniel, um garoto perfeito que atende às expectativas de tudo e todos durante o dia. Entretanto, durante a noite, Daniel revela um grande segredo.

Short Book Review: Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Short Book Review: Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Marquez (“LTOC”) is the best true love story I’ve ever read. I recommend it for everyone interested in romances and also for all the true love believers. It is just amazing and it is a classic magical realist book (of course, as it is written by the genius Gabriel García Marquez). Magic realism is my favorite literary genre and I’d like to show you more information about it.

This literary genre was popularized by Latin American writers in the 1950s. The main characteristic of magic realism is the existence of fantasy elements in the real world. Unlike in fantasy novels, the magical events are presented as ordinary occurrences and the reader accepts the marvelous as normal and common. For example, in LTOC Fermina senses the flesh and blood presence of her dead husband, but then she goes about her day as normally as possible.

The story takes place in Cartagena, Colombia, and it tells the love story of Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza. Florentino and Fermina fall in love at first sight, but Fermina’s father didn’t accept their relationship and she agrees to marry Dr. Juvenal Urbino, her father’s choice. However, things change after the doctor’s death…

Book Review: The Two Deaths of Quincas Wateryell – Jorge Amado

Book Review: The Two Deaths of Quincas Wateryell – Jorge Amado

The Two Deaths of Quincas Wateryell by Jorge Amado is one of my favorites Brazilian books. This one in the photo is very special for me, because it belongs to my mother, who read it when she was at school.

It tells the story of what happens after the death of Quincas, a man that left this middle-class life and family to become a popular bum living in the slums of Salvador, Bahia. In the beginning of the story, Quincas’ street companions and his old family competes for his memory.

However, after Quincas’s friends are alone with his body, they supposedly hear Quincas talk and share a drink with him, moving the body out of the coffin and taking him out for a night on the town. During that night, Quincas’ friends decided to visit his girlfriend and Quincas himself, dead, gets involved in a fight.

When they finally arrived at a friend’s boat, a loud thunder appears and Quincas yells his last words, throwing himself into the sea and leaving this world in the way he always wanted (his second death).

Short Book Review: Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

Short Book Review: Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, even though it was published in 1818, still concerns very common issues in our society, such as respect for differences, how “knowledge is power”, ethics in technologies and crimes


The story is an old classic and it tells how Victor Frankenstein, a hard-working scientist, gives life to an inanimate body (through unorthodox experiences) believing that such discovery will lead to further scientific advances. However, little did he know that he had created a monster that would get him into trouble


The most fascinating part of the book for me is when Frankenstein (the monster) learns how to communicate by observing a family through the window. He really understands what humans are like (he even read Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe in order to teach himself how to read) and he is rejected when he tries to contact them, as they were afraid and did not see humanity within the monster itself. The creature believes that it has the right to happiness, as a living creature, and demands that Victor create a female partner like himself