Home And Exile
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It is the weaving of the personal into the bigger picture that makes Home and Exile so remarkable and affecting. It’s the closest we are likely to get by way of Achebe’s autobiography but it is also a brilliantly argued critique of imperialism. Achebe challenges the way the West has appropriated Africa with a particular emphasis on how ‘imperialist’ literature has been used to justify its dispossession and degradation.
Above all this is a book that articulates persuasively why literature matters. Stories are a real source of power in the world, Achebe concludes, and to imitate the literature of another culture is to give that power away.