Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe won the 2007 Man Booker International Prize for fiction Wednesday, beating such celebrated nominees as Philip Roth, Margaret Atwood and Ian McEwan.I'm blown away by the talent among this batch of Booker contenders. In addition to Roth, Atwood and McEwan, Achebe was up against Michael Ondaatje, Alice Munro, Don DeLillo, Salman Rushdie, Doris Lessing, and Peter Carey, to name just a few.
The $120,000 prize is awarded every two years for a body of fiction. Achebe, 76, is best known for his first novel, Things Fall Apart (1958), and Anthills of the Savannah, published more than 30 years later. He has written more than 20 books, including novels, short stories, essays and collections of poetry.
"Chinua Achebe's early work made him the father of modern African literature as an integral part of world literature," said Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer, one of the three judges for the award.
I haven't read anything by Achebe since I read The African Trilogy -- which includes his celebrated first novel Things Fall Apart -- almost fifteen years ago. Man. It sure doesn't seem like that much time has passed. I think I need to revisit his books. (I think I also need to read something by Doris Lessing. Should I be embarrassed that I haven't already?)
[Thanks to the Cap'n for the link, and for keeping me on the up and up with this whole "book blogging" business.]